The agreement incorporates Caterpillar?s MineStar technology with an initial fleet of 12 Command for automated 793F Cat trucks to be rolled out in the second half of 2012.
The proposed Solomon mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region is expected to have about 45 autonomous trucks in use by 2015.
Chris Curfman, vice president of Caterpillar Global Mining, said ?this collaboration will positively impact sustainability at Fortescue?s Solomon mine through a reduced environmental footprint and machine efficiencies?.
Driverless trucks began operating in the mining sector in the 1990s and, more recently, Rio Tinto has started running some of its Pilbara operations, including rail services, remotely from Perth.
Caterpillar Group president Steve Wunning said the equipment would also provide a significant improvement in mine safety and reduce Solomon’s environmental footprint.
Quarry newsletter reported on the MineStar technology in May 2011
Source: Australian Mining