SME Keynote speaker, Gwenne Henricks, vice president, Product Development & Global Technology, Caterpillar Inc., told Mining Engineering that a fully autonomous mine could be a reality in the next decade.
“The rate of technological change that is happening right now will continue to increase,” Henrick said in an SME Thought Leaders podcast. “Building on the foundation of autonomous haulage systems we will be able to increasingly control other pieces of equipment that do less competitive tasks. We will continue to see more technology applied and it will be applied quickly. We will be able to learn how to solve difficult problems beyond autonomous haulage and I fully believe we will see a fully autonomous site in the next decade. The advantages that will be realized are primarily safety, we can take operators out of harms way and allow them to manage the mine site in much more comfortable surroundings.”
Henricks was one of the keynote speakers at the 2015 SME Annual Conference and Expo where she was joined by Peter Bryant, senior fellow and honorary cofounder of the Kellogg Innovation Network Red Conger, president Americas, Freeport-McMoRan; Bryan Galli, group executive and chief marketing officer, Peabody Energy; Dean Gehring, president and CEO, Rio Tinto Minerals and Barry Hudson, director of aggregates northern Europe, HeiderbergCement.
To hear Henricks podcast, and one with Gehring click here.