On August 26, Lingong Machinery Group (LGMG) held a Global Partner Conference in the city of Jinan, Shandong Province, China. Industry experts from over 60 countries around the world attended the conference. EACON, as LGMG’s autonomous driving partner, gave an address to attendees.
During the conference, EACON and LGMG held a strategic partnership signing ceremony. Building upon their previous collaboration that resulted in the production of 102 EL100 (EACON136) mining trucks, they are now collaborating on an additional 300 units. The partners stated: “Based on LGMG’s outstanding manufacturing capabilities and EACON’s leading technologies and products in the field of mining autonomous driving, this collaboration will undoubtedly promote the intelligent development of the mining industry and accelerate the future of autonomous mining.”
On July 18, 2023, EACON had announced that it would deliver 100 units of the 90-ton payload extended-range autonomous mining truck EL100 (EACON136) to the South Pit of TBEA, China’s largest open-pit coal mine in terms of production capacity. The 100 units of EL100 represent the initial project of strategic cooperation between EACON and LGMG. By August 2023, 102 units have been delivered, and the commissioning work for the vehicles has almost been completed, with the autonomous driving functions currently being fine-tuned.
These vehicles will undertake haulage operation in two work benches, making EACON one of the first players in China to achieve commercialisation of Level 4 autonomous driving at scale. The 39 previously deployed fuel vehicles at the South Pit Mine, managed by EACON, are gradually being phased out, and only 13 units are left. EACON has now reached 115 units of autonomous driving vehicles.
At present, EACON has a vehicle R&D team of 30 members. It comments: “They have years of experience in commercial vehicle research and development, including capabilities in new energy system integration and matching, overall vehicle energy management, and drive-by-wire chassis domain control. These capabilities are industry-leading. This team has enabled the EL100 to achieve excellent fuel efficiency and stable drive-by-wire chassis performance in its design.”
“According to some mining policies in certain regions of China, the elimination of mining trucks under 90 tons must be completed by 2025, and some mines require a reduction of over 50% of on-site personnel at mining sites to ensure safety. The combination of these two requirements has led to a large number of customers beginning negotiations with us for the EL100 model,” stated the Business Development Director of the EACON team.
Since its establishment, EACON has gone through a five-year product development cycle and says it has now finally reached large-scale commercial implementation. Currently, out of the additional 300 mining trucks jointly developed with LGMG, 150 units have already entered production. EACON’s autonomous driving solution has already adapted to four vehicle models from three different OEMs, namely Yutong, Tonly and LGMG, making EACON a leading OEM agnostic AHS provider.