World First Zero-Emissions Autonomous Mining Trucks Being Tested

The 291-ton machines are being tested with autonomous hauling, fleet management and high-precision guidance systems

Graham Hope

July 5, 2024

2 Min Read
Liebherr’s mammoth T264 mining truck

The world’s first zero-emissions autonomous hauling solutions (AHS) for mines are on their way, thanks to a collaboration between Liebherr and Fortescue.

The project marks the extension of a partnership between the Swiss-German construction machine manufacturer and Australian mining specialist which started in June 2022.

As part of the development process, the pair have been testing full battery electric and hydrogen versions of Liebherr’s mammoth T264 trucks at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek mining site in Pilbara, Western Australia since last year.

Fortescue has pledged to end the use of diesel at its mines by 2030 as part of its target to achieve real zero terrestrial emissions at its Australian mining sites.

The 291-ton machines – which emit only water vapor in operation – are also being assessed with a new AHS, which incorporates an onboard autonomy kit, a Fleet Management System (FMS) and a high-precision machine guidance system for loading equipment. 

The FMS is designed to optimize fleet utilization and maximize productivity while ensuring efficient energy consumption. 

And the tech will allow control of whole fleets of autonomous vehicles, including road trains and light vehicles, as well as the trucks themselves.

Fortescue has been at the forefront of integrating automated capability into mining operations, having converted its fleet to autonomous haulage in 2020. 

Related:Volvo Removes Safety Driver From Autonomous Mining Trucks

CEO Dino Otranto hailed this latest step in its journey, saying: “Our deep expertise in autonomous haulage, that has come from operating over 200 diesel autonomous haul trucks across our mine sites, has enabled Fortescue and Liebherr to develop a Fleet Management System that uniquely targets efficiency and unlocks untapped capacity in our fleet.  

“The partnership with Liebherr has enabled us to jointly develop the Fleet Management Systems, which provide us with an OEM agnostic solution that can be integrated with any autonomous platform including trucks, drills, watercarts or any other heavy mining equipment. This critical technology puts our business in full control of our development priorities and roadmap.” 

And Liebherr’s executive vice president Oliver Weiss said the development work was useful for the entire industry. 

“Our collaborative efforts will be beneficial for not only Fortescue but all customers who choose to implement Liebherr technology products on their sites.”

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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