Mine Planning and Selection of Autonomous Trucks

  • Richard PriceEmail author
  • Mitchell Cornelius
  • Lachlan Burnside
  • Benjamin Miller
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering book series (SSGG)


Autonomous trucks achieve greater productivities (up to 30%), and do so with reduced fuel, maintenance and tyre wear. This is in addition to the lower costs for personnel, offset by costs of communication networks and control room operators.

This paper discusses the mine planning and selection of rendering trucks autonomous, including:
  • What is an Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) and how they work;

  • What changes in the mine design process;

  • How does the mine planning and scheduling change;

  • What are the benefits, both perceived and actual from implementing an AHS;

  • What are the selection criteria, and how does a mine site make the decision to implement an AHS; and

  • The decision-making process to complete the path to automation.

The paper will also summarise the current status and future state of general vehicle automation in the mining industry.



Acknowledgements to Aidan Ayres of AMC Consultants for assistance with this paper. We further acknowledge our clients and their dedication to technology investments.


  1. Amin, C.: Mining industry automation: let the robots take our dangerous and dirty jobs. Retrieved from Create Digital, 10 December 2018.
  2. Barbaschow, A.: Rio Tinto preparing for the mine of the future with automation. Retrieved from, 26 February 2018.
  3. FMG. Fortescue’s autonomous truck fleet surpasses one billion tonne milestone, 13 September 2019.
  4. H&SA. Construction of Haul Roads. Retrieved from Health and Safety Authority of Ireland: Health and Safety Authority of Ireland (2019)Google Scholar
  5. McCrae, M.A.: Selling autonomous trucks moves from push to pull: Caterpillar. Retrieved from, 29 July 2018.
  6. Miller. Autonomous Haul Systems Savings: It’s not about less truckies but better truckies! AusIMM, Perth, WA (2016)Google Scholar
  7. Petty, J.: Getting the best out of autonomous mining fleets. Retrieved from AusIMM Bulletin, December 2017.
  8. Price. Autonomous haualge systems - the business case. AusIMM, Perth, WA (2017)Google Scholar
  9. RTIO. Rio Tinto’s autonomous haul trucks achieve one billion tonne milestone. Retrieved from Rio Tinto, 30 January 2018.
  10. Stevens, M.: Rio’s smart trucks book their own sickies. Retrieved from AFR, 8 May 2019.
  11. Bird, D., Beal, C., Thomson, A., Vinson, C.: Report 2 - Autonomous Mining Equipment (2019).
  12. Brundrett, S.: Industry Analysis of Autonomous Mine Haul Truck Commercalization. (Master of Business Administration), University of Birtish Columbia (2014).
  13. Harry, R.: Exclusive: caterpillar reveals the impact of autonomy on the industrial sector. Industrial Vehicle Technology International, June 2018Google Scholar
  14. Horberry, T., Lynas, D.: Human interaction with automated mining equipment: the development of an emerging technologies database. Ergon. Aust. 8(1) (2012)Google Scholar
  15. Moffat, K., Zhang, A.: Resources Policy 39, 61–70 (2014). Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Price
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mitchell Cornelius
    • 2
  • Lachlan Burnside
    • 2
  • Benjamin Miller
    • 3
  1. 1.F.AusIMMMTGACarlisleAustralia
  2. 2.MTGACarlisleAustralia
  3. 3.M.AusIMM / SMEMTGACarlisleAustralia

Personalised recommendations