Caterpillar and BHP Billiton to build robotic mining trucks

Caterpillar and mining company BHP Billiton will develop driverless mining trucks intended to increase safety and efficiency. The objective for the joint venture is to develop autonomous, robotic mining trucks that will be in service at mine sites by 2010.

Caterpillar first developed a robotic mining truck in the mid-1990s; they plan to combine their technology with BHP Billiton’s mining processes. Goals include achieving consistency and minimizing environmental impacts.

Caterpillar plans to unveil further details at MINExpo 2008, held in September in Las Vegas, Nevada.