Komatsu and Toyota to develop Autonomous Light Vehicle that will run on Komatsu’s Autonomous Haulage System
Komatsu and Toyota Motor launched a joint project to develop an Autonomous Light Vehicle (ALV) that will run on Komatsu’s Autonomous Haulage System (AHS). To realize further safety and productivity improvements in mines by running autonomous haul trucks and automated ALV controlled by AHS, Komatsu and Toyota are launching an effort to develop new technologies jointly.
Both companies are currently testing a concept ALV at their proving grounds, and plan to have a proof of concept at a customer site by around January 2024.
Komatsu autonomous haul truck and Toyota concept ALV
Since the launch of the world’s first commercial application of an AHS in 2008, Komatsu has established proven performance in various mine environments and has earned a reputation for safety and productivity. Currently, when AHS-enabled autonomous haul trucks and manual light vehicles used for maintenance or transport are running on haulage roads at the same time, autonomous haul trucks may decrease their speed or stop when passing light vehicles to avoid possible collisions caused by human error.
On the other hand, customer demand for improved productivity in mine operations when it comes to autonomous haul truck operating efficiency remains an issue.
In light of those circumstances and in an effort to solve those issues quickly, Komatsu and Toyota have joined together to accelerate autonomy in mines. Komatsu will develop a new management program for ALVs on its AHS supervisory system, and Toyota will develop ALVs running automatically under AHS control.
By operating Komatsu’s autonomous haul trucks and Toyota’s ALVs utilizing a common AHS in mine sites, the following safety and productivity improvements will be realized across the mining operation:
ALVs operating safely along haul roads.
Prevent accidental contact caused by driver, as may happen with existing manual light vehicles.
Minimize speed reductions or brief stops of autonomous haul trucks while passing light vehicles on a haul road.
Toyota’s ALV autonomous operation accelerates further improvements and adds functions that contribute to safety and productivity.
Autonomous transfer of parts for other mining equipment working in the field.
Autonomous transfer of equipment operators for other machines such as loading equipment or bulldozers
Since Komatsu launched the first commercial application of AHS in 2008, the company has deployed more than 650 trucks at twenty-two sites in five countries. (As of May 2023.)