Rajant Corp., the provider of Kinetic Mesh wireless networks, and Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia are improving operational safety and productivity through the use of autonomous haulage systems in an Australian coal mine.
Hitachi selected Rajant Kinetic Mesh because it is the only industrial wireless network enabling vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, which allows autonomous vehicles to talk directly to each other, providing enhanced coverage and reliability.
“Rajant is a Hitachi central wireless network partner for the mining industry when it comes to automation,” said Greg Smith, Hitachi general manager AHS Business Unit, Australia. “Deployed in 200 of the largest mines globally, Rajant has the network Hitachi relies on for our autonomous haulage systems, significantly reducing human exposure to safety hazards in mining’s hostile environments.”
“We have more than a dozen autonomous vehicle partners today, and that list is growing continuously,” said Robert Schena, CEO of Rajant. “In our Australian coal mine deployment with Hitachi, there are currently six autonomous haul trucks in production, scaling to over 45 during 2020/21, with Rajant. The mine’s existing Rajant wireless network deployed across a vast number of mobile and fixed infrastructure easily met the requirements to support and enable Hitachi’s autonomous operations. Additionally, Hitachi systems can be retrofitted onto existing vehicles expanding their scope and market significantly.”
Distinct to Rajant Kinetic Mesh is the proprietary InstaMesh networking software protocol, which dynamically optimizes Kinetic Mesh performance as network characteristics change, without the need for a controller node or human intervention. Mobile nodes can communicate directly with each other to enable V2V communications between both manned and unmanned vehicles.
In closing, Greg Smith added, “Hitachi has experienced and witnessed that Rajant networks dynamically adapt to evolving conditions and make multiple connections over multiple frequencies per node for continuous, mobile connectivity. This level of mission-critical reliability is a mandate for V2V and particularly for autonomy.”