Caterpillar announces more than 500 autonomous trucks operating worldwide
Caterpillar has announced a milestone of more than 500 Cat autonomous trucks in operation worldwide. “This achievement is exciting not only for the mining industry, but also for our broad customer base as we scale autonomy into quarry/aggregates and construction industries’ product lines with competitive offerings,” the company said in a statement.
While Caterpillar mining trucks have been around for generations, each new class offers the latest technology built on a foundation of industry leadership. “No doubt, these massive yellow machines are the heavy haulers of the mining industry. Their sheer size is daunting. And the fact that these trucks get the job done without an operator in the cab is, well, seemingly magical,” said Caterpillar.
Caterpillar has been investing in autonomous development for decades. From 1994 to 1995, Caterpillar ran the first two prototype Cat 777C autonomous mining trucks at a Texas limestone quarry, where they successfully hauled more than 5,000 production loads over a 4.1 km (2.6-mile) course. In 1996 the company conducted an autonomy demonstration via satellite from the Tinaja Hills demonstration and learning center while MINExpo guests watched live.
Caterpillar Resource Industries Group President Denise Johnson said, “Congratulations to the Caterpillar team and our customers on reaching this impressive milestone. Having 500 driverless trucks in operation across the globe is tangible evidence of our ability to innovate and a clear indication of Caterpillar’s commitment to the future of mining.”
At year-end 2021, customers using Cat Command technology had safely hauled more than 4 billion tonnes and traveled over 145 million kilometers autonomously — significantly more than any competitor. Caterpillar has autonomous mine sites operating 24/7 on three continents.
According to Caterpillar, driverless trucks are safer and have up to 30 percent improved performance over those with operators.