As rapidly advancing machine-control technology brings autonomous equipment operations within practical reach for a growing number of mine sites, the pace of notable developments is stepping up as well, as evidenced by announcements from several well-known industry suppliers and producers.

Liebherr Mining Equipment provided an update of its autonomous haulage solution in November, noting that its development program is currently under way and initial prototype testing has been “live” since 2016. The company said it plans to begin field trials of a pre-series unit at a customer site in 2019.

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