So what is artificial intelligence in autonomous mining? Everyone has probably now heard of Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformers (Chat GPT) the latest in AI technology. This type of technology looks like it may have some long-awaited potential spill over affects for mining applications too.

First, let’s look at the systems that are currently the brains of the autonomous mining system. Most autonomous systems are currently using very old fleet management systems that have simply been integrated with the autonomous drive and safety control systems. These systems were introduced to mining back in the 1990s and have not really changed much.

Before these fleet management algorithms were even integrated with autonomous mining trucks it was a very untechnical process that required manual assignments. The time is ripe for a leap forward in how Autonomous fleets are dynamically managed. 

With the massive stream of data Autonomous mining companies now have access to there is unfortunately only a very small amount of this data that gets analysed and utilised.

Why is it important that we begin to see more artificial intelligence be incorporated into these autonomous haulage systems? Let’s look at how an AI system could compliment Autonomous trucks by better using all the available data.

Are environmental regulations, health and safety concerns or potential profit loss a concern right now?

1. Improved fleet management decisions

With artificial intelligence, all the fleet management decisions can be made in a split-second and if the algorithms were created correctly these would not require any human input and over time the algorithms would learn themselves as to what is the best decision to make according to the mine daily plan. AI could be gathering data from all trucks, weather, dig units, cycles, plant/dump, road conditions, time management, the list goes on! All this can be analysed by AI technology to make the best possible fleet management decision for each truck at any time during the haul cycle.

2. Linked intelligent communications between each truck and plant

Once AI is integrated onboard each Autonomous truck they will then be able to have access to the huge array of date from all the trucks onboard diagnostics including strut pressures, tyre temperatures, payload bias, the list is huge. An AI system could then analysis and monitor all that incoming data then communicate specific data sets to other auto trucks to create a real time virtual map of the mining area that would have minute perfect data points – such things like areas of the haul route that are experiencing degradation and becoming rough, wet or dusty, areas of the pit that are experiencing excessive queuing. This information can then be delivered to other auxiliary mining equipment and teams to priorities tasks and area of focus.

This would all feed into creating better cycle assignment decisions, better haul road maintenance outcomes and provide a real time feedback of areas for trucks to avoid etc. The mining crusher plants could be feeding data into the AI system so real time stoppages, delays, crusher output can all be feed to each autonomous truck, they could then be continually adjusting the cycle assignments to avoid truck queuing, crusher loss of feed etc.

3. More efficient haul fleet

With ALL data being channelled and processed by a pre-trained transformer type data processor it can determine when the optimal time is to send an Autonomous truck for maintenance, refuelling, minor repairs etc. based on thresholds and current mine plan requirements, not just simply based on an hour clock and workshop schedule. 

4. Less human intervention

The more automated a system can be, and the less human input required means there is less variability, less missed opportunities. With the current fleet management systems being used it still requires large amounts of human inputs and there is a lot of variances in understanding, response speeds and many other human characteristics. Poor decisions made during the shift can account for many thousands of tonnes lost for a shift.

There is a huge, exciting future ahead for autonomous mining and artificial intelligence, they complement each other magnificently and the sooner they can be integrated into the autonomous mining to start analysing all the data available, then the better. This will be the next catalyst for a big step change in mining and productivity.

Read our Q&A articles with industry experts on this topic –

Q&A Series #51 : Interview with José Troncoso – Mine automation and innovation

Q&A series #43 : Interview with Daniel Bergqvist – Autonomous Mining Solutions from Scania Group

GRT’s Automated Haul Road Maintenance System –

GRT is the first in the industry to offer automated dust suppression systems for autonomous haulage systems and mine sites in Australia.

GRT: Haul-Loc Dust Suppression systems for autonomous haulage systems include the GRT: Haul-Loc product, SMART dosing units, training and awareness sessions, as well as advice on setting up water truck spray patterns and practices to maximize benefits.

GRT – Automated Dosing Units

Designed and manufactured in Australia, GRT’s SMART dosing units range from simple hand-operated pumps to our fully automated dosing units used by some of the world’s largest mining and quarrying companies. GRT’s dosing units inject GRT: Haul-Loc into the flow stream of the water at your standpipe or hydrant fill points at our recommended dosage rates, calibrated to the rate of flow in the water supply pipe.

These units are tailor-made for each customer to suit their individual needs and ensure accurate dosing of the product with the following options:

  • Solar-powered, generator or mains power compatible,
  • Manual, remote control, or automated start,
  • Permanently fixed, mobile skids/bunds, or even truck-mounted units are available.
  • Can be dual-purposed to also dose our GRT: ACTIVATE and GRT: RoadConditioner products.

invests in Australian manufacturing capabilities


GRT’s automated technology provides meaningful data to empower you to make strategic operational decisions.
  • Better resource management
  • Improving Operational efficiency
  • Enhancing Visibility and traceability

Your feedback is important to us. If you enjoyed reading this Global Road Technology industry update and found it informative, please let us know by leaving a REVIEW.