Rolls-Royce and Autonomous Solutions Incorporated (ASI) have signed a memorandum of understanding enabling Rolls-Royce to offer autonomous-compatible, Mobius-ready MTU engine solutions for equipment in a wide range of mining applications.
As part of the agreement, ASI Mining, a subsidiary of ASI, has agreed to ensure compatibility of MTU engines and ASI’s Mobius command and control software for autonomous vehicles.
With its brand MTU, Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems is a leading provider of advanced power solutions for a wide variety of applications, including mining equipment. ASI Mining, meanwhile, is an industry leader in the development and sales of high-tech autonomous solutions for mining equipment and other machinery in a wide range of applications. The companies plan to leverage their experience to offer customers engine solutions that are compatible with ASI’s vehicle automation software to help optimise vehicle power performance and efficiency, thus enabling more environmentally friendly and safer mining operations, the two said.
Scott Woodruff, Global Director for Mining and Oil & Gas at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “We are excited to shape the mining industry’s future together with ASI and further leverage our advanced MTU technologies. Together we will offer our customers integrated future-oriented autonomous solutions. This agreement may help mining operators save big on operational costs and at the same time, reduce their environmental footprint by cutting emissions.”
Drew Larsen, Director of Business Development for ASI Mining, said: “We are excited to start these discussions with Rolls-Royce Power Systems. This is another testament to the interoperability of Mobius and real value it adds to our mining customers.”
One potential benefit to customers of Rolls-Royce and ASI Mining may be the ability to retrofit the power system on existing haul trucks and convert them to autonomous operation, the companies said. The companies are interested in exploring the value customers would receive by modernising their trucks with more efficient MTU engines along with implementation of ASI’s industry-leading autonomous mining solutions. Customers would thus save on operating costs and further benefit from the increased performance of the autonomously optimised MTU engines, they said.
MTU says its diesel engines have been setting the standards for performance and fuel efficiency in mining applications around the globe for decades. “They reliably power vehicles for underground and surface mining, including loading vehicles such as excavators and wheel loaders, transport vehicles such as haul trucks or blasthole drilling rigs, and other mining machines – diesel-mechanic, diesel-electric or diesel-hydraulic,” it said. “For these applications, MTU engines provide high performance, reliability and availability as well as a maintenance-friendly construction. Long service intervals and an efficient use of fuel provide for exceptionally low operating costs of machines powered with MTU engines.”
ASI Mining’s Mobius, meanwhile, leverages advanced multi-vehicle command and control software to set up and manage a coordinated system of haul trucks. The Mobius Haulage Platform manages autonomous traffic, coordinates manned or unmanned vehicles and regulates the haul cycle in the most efficient way possible. By employing Mobius software, mines can improve utilisation, along with increase safety and productivity.