Future models of Hitachi Construction Equipment’s mining trucks and large hydraulic excavators will soon be much easier to park and much safer to operate on busy mining sites.
Nissan has agreed to license the same 360-degree camera and Moving Object Detection (MOD) technologies currently in its cars and trucks for use in the aforementioned Hitachi machines. Around View Monitoring (AVM), Nissan’s name for the 360-degree camera system, stitches together images taken by cameras all around the vehicle to create an overhead view of the vehicle’s position to assist in parking and maneuvering.
Nissan says the two technologies will play a big part in making its self-driving vehicles a reality by 2020. But in the meantime, Hitachi trucks and excavators working on large, open-pit mines will benefit.
The AVM and MOD technologies will greatly augment the six mirrors operators of Hitachi mining trucks currently use to check their surroundings. The systems kick in whenever an operator starts a machine up, drops cargo, puts the machine in reverse or when a hydraulic shovel is used in close proximity to a vehicle. The systems then monitor any movement or workers in the area around the machine in real time. You can see video of the systems at work on a Hitachi mining truck below.
Given the sheer size of these machines (the tires of the Hitachi trucks alone are 12 feet tall) and their limited visibility, the technologies are a welcome safety enhancement. Nissan says it may license the technology to even more heavy equipment in the future.