According to Bell Equipment ADT product marketing manager, Brad Castle, “providing autonomous-ready machines will be a part of our core business in the future but in terms of sensing and guidance systems it makes sense to partner with market leaders and innovators, as we do with drivetrain, hydraulics and electronics technologies in our trucks.”
To ensure versatility, Bell provides the trucks with a standard cab with no extra hardware taking up space so that manual, remote or autonomous operation is interchangeable. “This would be useful for mining contractors, for example. Once their ADTs have finished a contract on an autonomous site, the sensory and control system could easily be removed and the truck either fitted with a new system for another site or be used in a manual operation,” Castle explained.
The company has already demonstrated its autonomous ADT system at a quarry site in Austria using one of its B45 models. “In most cases an autonomous operation will also need the end customer to set up their site to work differently; there may be special traffic control measures, berms or even different roads needed. At this point in time Bell has an autonomous ready solution available for customers that are interested in doing proof of concept work in their application,” according to Bell Equipment’s manager: Electrical and Software, Eben Lemmer.