Mining.com recently reported that to increase the volume of ore transported at its Brucutu mine by 26 percent, Brazil’s Vale – the world’s No.1 iron ore miner – is making its truck fleet fully autonomous next year.
By early 2019, Vale expects to use Caterpillar 793F driverless trucks, which will be controlled by computer systems, GPS, radar and artificial intelligence using Cat’s technology.
In addition to hauling the payload from source to destination, in coordination with various stops around the mine, the technology used in the trucks can identify obstacles and changes that were not foreseen in the path determined by the control centre. Upon detecting any risks, the equipment will shut down until the path is clear. The safety system is able to detect objects such as large rocks and other trucks and also any people who are in the vicinity of the road.
According to Lucio Cavalli, Ferrous Planning and Development Director, autonomous trucks have not only proven to be more efficient than man-operated ones, but also safer.
The adoption of autonomous trucks at Brucutu is expected to reduce fuel consumption by more than 10 percent. Maintenance costs should fall by another 10 percent and off-road truck tires, which cost up to $40,000, are expected to have 25 percent less wear.
“The overall gains translate into a 15 percent increase in equipment life, reducing investments in new acquisitions and reducing carbon dioxide emissions at the same time,” Cavalli said.
For large industrial operations, ensuring safety is paramount. To ensure the success of this deployment of autonomous vehicles, security must be a primary consideration. But many industrial companies rely on centralized security architectures, which are challenged to defend against intrusion at every endpoint, application and user. These security architectures create single points of failure: once malware exploits a vulnerability, a company’s entire operation is in jeopardy. Because autonomous driving software relies on accurate data, the operation needs to secure both peer-to-peer and edge-to-center data exchange.
To protect autonomous vehicle software, and ensure data integrity and privacy, companies need decentralized security technology deployed at the edge (and across all edges) that avoids single points of security failure by delivering robust, resilient and self-healing protection.
The Xage Security Fabric accelerates deployment and builds trust by tightly controlling data exchange across the entire multi-vendor, multi-device environment. With Xage, operators can protect their infrastructure by managing user and device identities, passwords, keys, credentials, and access control policies across distributed assets and applications used by the operation. To ensure data integrity and privacy, Xage Security Fabric builds operational fingerprints for all participants in the data exchange, provides end-to-end integrity and privacy as data is exchanged, and controls access based on managed identities of humans and machines.