KAMAZ develops cabless, autonomous hauler plus collaborates with Zyfra on robotic trucks

Designers of the Research and Development Center of KAMAZ PTC have created what they say is a unique dump truck KAMAZ-6559 intended for mining in autonomous mode. The vehicle, built in cooperation with experts of Bauman University (BMSTU) under the project ‘Development of the Line of Hybrid Self-Driving Heavy-Duty Dump Trucks for Extractive Industries of the Russian Federation,’ is a successor of the KAMAZ line of mining dump trucks.

The self-driving KAMAZ-6559 named Jupiter 30 is meant for unmanned transportation of broken run of ore or mine. There is no need for people to be present in the dangerous area with heavy vehicles and earthmovers operating there. So, the vehicle features no driver’s cab.

“The Jupiter was initially designed as an autonomous vehicle for quarry operations. It was equipped with all necessary devices. It features special dust-, dirt-, water- and vibration-proof video cameras, 2D and 3D LiDARs, ultrasound sensors, radars. There are also GSM antennae and GPS/GLONASS navigation. Both axles are steerable making the vehicle easily manoeuverable,” said Chief Designer of Innovative Vehicles of the Research and Development Center of KAMAZ PTC Sergey Nazarenko.

The 4×4 dump truck features a series hybrid transmission, with bypass accumulators for energy recovering when braking and driving downwards. Besides, for better performance, the dump truck has a shuttle mode of moving. The loaded vehicle runs straight to the delivery point without making a U-turn and then, after it has unloaded with no turns as well, it runs backwards to receive a new load without any maneuvers. All this enables to save fuel, reduce mining truck cycle time and enhance efficiency.

The autonomous vehicle is equipped with a KAMAZ in-line six-cylinder engine 910.12-450 with a capacity of 11.9L. The engine powers an electric generator that powers a traction electric motor and charges traction batteries. All-wheel drive without a transfer case is provided by two traction electric motors, one per each axle.

The haul truck is 8,769 mm long, 2,709 mm wide, 3,499 mm high. The curb weight of the chassis is 23 t, both axles (front and rear) can carry the same load – up to 25 t each. The vehicle can transport cargo weighing up to 30 t in a fully automatic or remote control mode. The speed of the vehicle is limited to 56 km/h.

The dumping platform with a bottom and sides made of special extra-thick steel is used for transportation of ore or overburden grounds. Heated by emissions, the platform is protected from wet freezing ground. The volume of the dumping installation is 21.5 cbm.

“Jupiter 30 is a brand new vehicle and a global premier. This is the first prototype of the new rigid KAMAZ mining trucks of the Jupiter line. The next models will feature higher payload. The company will be developing them for the next several years,” shared Sergey Nazarenko.

The experts of KAMAZ PTC and BMSTU are currently setting all vehicle systems. After field tests at the Research and Development Center of KAMAZ, the dump truck will be handed over to the holding company SDS-Ugol for pioneer operations in the Chernigovets open pit coal mine in Kemerovo Oblast.

Separately, KAMAZ PTC and Zyfra have entered into a cooperation agreement under which it is planned to supplement robotic mining dump trucks with a domestic dispatch system for autonomous vehicles. This will be the last stage of work before the launch of the first Russian self-driving KAMAZ mining dump trucks at mining enterprises.

The agreement was signed at the CIPR 2022 conference in Nizhny Novgorod. The document was signed by Director for Digital Transformation of KAMAZ PTC Eldar Shavaliyev and CEO of Zyfra Igor Bogachev.

The parties agreed to exchange experience in order to build competencies both in terms of the operation of autonomous vehicles and in terms of production management. In addition, KAMAZ PTC and Zyfra will exchange practices for to implement tasks effectively and shape strategies for the development of the mining industry, as well as hold joint seminars and conferences to obtain high-quality expertise in the implementation of projects.

The companies intend to promote unmanned technologies in the domestic market, as well as enter the markets of the BRICS and CIS countries which have already shown interest in Russian mining self-driving vehicles. Several enterprises of the coal industry have already expressed their readiness to become a platform for testing and operating heavy haul trucks.

“We are developing a competitive product the demand for which will only grow. We intend to further develop this promising area and will expand our offerings of unmanned vehicles to other industries,” commented Sergey Kogogin, Director General of KAMAZ PTC.

“By the end of the year, we will have a tested mining management system adapted to KAMAZ dump trucks enabling us to effectively manage the fleet of autonomous vehicles at the enterprise. After its integration, KAMAZ trucks will be tested in the field conditions of potential customers, and we will ‘run in’ reliability and efficiency of our technologies,” said Igor Bogachev, Director General of Zyfra Group. IM understands that KAMAZ will use 40-80 t articulated trucks and also large rigid trucks of 130 t and 220 t capacity.