Komatsu mining customers surpass 4 billion tonnes hauled autonomously milestone

Marking another industry first for autonomous haulage, mining companies have now hauled more than four billion metric tonnes of materials leveraging Komatsu’s FrontRunner Autonomous Haulage System (AHS). The milestone was achieved just in advance of Komatsu’s participation at MINExpo 2021, opening today in Las Vegas, Nevada.

To help mines move material more efficiently, Komatsu worked closely with its customers to develop the first commercially available autonomous haulage system. First deployed in 2008 at Codelco’s Gabriela Mistral (Gaby) copper mine in Chile, AHS brings together Komatsu ultra-class dump trucks with Modular Mining’s DISPATCH Fleet Management System. Now with 14 years of commercial operation, zero system-related injuries have been reported.

Today’s FrontRunner system operates around the clock, supporting customers hauling copper, iron ore, oil sands, and coal at 13 active sites across three continents. As of September 2021, Komatsu has over 400 trucks commissioned with its autonomous system.

“It has been gratifying to help customers save hundreds of millions of dollars while autonomously moving another billion metric tons of essential minerals,” said Anthony Cook, Vice President of Autonomous Systems, Komatsu. “Our customers’ continued investment in the technology and equipment to transition to autonomous haulage supports the evolution of mining methods and opportunity for advancements in safety and production.”

Supporting customers’ transition to autonomy, the FrontRunner system is designed to enable manually operated equipment (such as loaders, dozers, graders, light vehicles, etc) to seamlessly interact in an autonomous truck environment. Komatsu has system functionality that enables manual haul trucks to operate with autonomous trucks.