Caterpillar Inc. Announces Autonomous Mining Collaboration Designed to Improve Mine Site Productivity, Efficiency and Overall Sustainability
PEORIA, Ill., July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Caterpillar Inc. has announced a groundbreaking alignment with BHP Billiton to develop an autonomous mining haulage system. The agreement couples the market leader in mining equipment with the world’s largest diversified natural resources company.
“Our joint autonomous technology project is a significant initiative that will bring benefits to both Caterpillar and BHP Billiton,” said Caterpillar Group President, Stu Levenick. “This close collaboration will focus on Caterpillar building an autonomous haulage system that will tightly integrate with BHP Billiton mining processes.”
As part of the alignment, Cat and BHP Billiton are launching joint autonomous mining haulage development programs. The companies’ development program includes enhancing the existing mining trucks by integrating them with robust autonomous sub-systems many of which are Caterpillar technologies already proven in the marketplace. The companies plan to have autonomous trucks at selected mine sites by 2010.
Autonomous technology is designed to provide productivity gains through more consistency in processes. It is expected that autonomous mining will help minimize environmental impact by both improved efficiency and overall mine safety. The collaboration further illustrates both companies’ commitment to sustainable development.
“Caterpillar is dedicated to helping our mining customers improve safety, boost efficiency and increase profitability,” said Chris Curfman, President of Cat Global Mining & Vice President of Caterpillar Inc. “This application of new technologies will have a positive impact on mining operations around the world.”
Caterpillar officials anticipate announcing further details of the product introduction timeline this September at MINExpo(R) 2008.
Caterpillar was the first original equipment manufacturer to successfully develop an autonomous mining truck, having demonstrated this capability in the mid-90′s. Since that time, Cat has been assembling the most comprehensive autonomous truck system in the world.
“Caterpillar scientists and engineers have partnered with leading universities and top autonomy experts to enhance the core technologies for a fully integrated mine site operation,” said Caterpillar Vice President of Electronics & Connected Worksite, Gwenne Henricks. “By aligning ourselves with the best and the brightest minds in the fields of science and engineering, Caterpillar continues to make sustainable progress possible around the world.”
For more than 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2007 sales and revenues of $44.958 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at http://www.cat.com/
Certain statements in this release relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements involving known and unknown factors that may cause actual results of Caterpillar Inc. to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. In this context, words such as “will,”" we are,”"expect,”"anticipate” or other similar words and phrases often identify forward-looking statements made on behalf of Caterpillar. It is important to note that actual results of the company may differ materially from those described or implied in such forward- looking statements based on a number of factors and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, changes in economic conditions; currency exchange or interest rates; political stability; market acceptance of the company’s products and services; significant changes in the competitive environment; epidemic diseases; changes in law, regulations and tax rates; and other general economic, business and financing conditions and factors described in more detail in the company’s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 22, 2008. This filing is available on our website at http://www.cat.com/sec_filings. We do not undertake to update our forward- looking statements.
CONTACT: Kate Kenny, Corporate Public Affairs of Caterpillar Inc.,+1-309-636-5253, Kenny_Kate@cat.com
Web site: http://www.cat.com/