Testing autonomous electric haulers for mining


Thursday, 04 November, 2021

Testing autonomous electric haulers for mining

Autonomous electric haulers for use in a limestone quarry are being developed by Volvo Autonomous Solutions and Holcim Switzerland.

The two organisations have entered a collaboration to jointly test the technology.

Holcim’s quarry Gabenchopf in Siggenthal has been chosen as the site for the project. The battery-electric haulers currently being tested mark a groundbreaking step in the industry: not only are they quieter and more sustainable than conventional haulers, they are also safer.

The testing and likely deployment of electric haulers in its quarry is part of Holcim’s digitisation initiative, “Plants of Tomorrow”. As part of the initiative, Holcim is testing automation technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence throughout the entire production process in order to develop innovative solutions for a safer, more efficient and more sustainable cement production.

“This project showcases a sustainable transport solution that is commercially viable and combines the technology shifts of connectivity, automation and electrification,” said Nils Jaeger, President of Volvo Autonomous Solutions.

“Through a strong partnership with Holcim Switzerland, this will happen in a real environment driven by two committed companies dedicated to jointly presenting the future.”

“We are delighted to partner with Volvo on this project,” said Simon Kronenberg, CEO of Holcim Switzerland and Italy.

“Our participation in this project represents another step towards fulfilling our sustainability objectives. We seek solutions that are both innovative and environmentally responsible and we are constantly investing in measures to reduce our ecological footprint in order to help build a sustainable future.”

For Holcim, logistics plays a major role in the worldwide efforts to reduce the impact on climate.

“Here, we as a company can contribute already today while we continue to work on the development of CO2-reduced technologies and products,” Kronenberg said.

Related, and equally important, is the issue of renewable energy. Holcim has been using 100% renewable electrical energy at all sites since 2019 and makes a point of using only green energy for electrically powered vehicles such as the electric concrete truck mixers that are already in use.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/JT Jeeraphun

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