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Caterpillar Develops LiDAR for Tracks

InternationalMining: Caterpillar’s Command for Hauling automation system used to use Velodyne LiDAR sensor for its tracks. Cat has now developed its own in-house LiDAR sensor, Cat LiDAR. While the Velodyne is used in hundreds of haul trucks across Western Australia and elsewhere – it is said to lack the reliability and capability to meet Cat’s long-term needs.

For example, Velodyne was not able to work in cold climates below freezing, while LiDAR would often detect dust as a hazard, causing an unnecessary track stop.

Cat LiDAR has been in field tests for the past year and one commercial unit has already been shipped to a new Command for Hauling customer. The OEM is expected to make it available as a replacement option for existing operations, Cat said.

The new system include greater tolerance of extreme temperatures – it has been tested down to -40°C, meaning it could operate in Canada’s oil sands, improvement in accuracy of operating distances between vehicles and obstructions, enhanced ability to distinguish between hazards and non-hazards, the ability to measure the diagnostics and health of the LiDAR sensor.

Cat says the new LiDAR has been proven to last three times longer than the previous sensor when it comes to reporting first failure.

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