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Caterpillar promotes autonomous plant at CES 2021

14 January 2021

Sony, Panasonic, LG, Samsung, VR headsets, mobile phones, tablets, laptops and… Caterpillar!

Just what is the most famous name in construction plant doing at the world’s largest consumer tech show, CES 2021?

“We’re proud to be participating in CES and sharing our solutions with a new audience,” said Denise Johnson, group president, resource industries at Caterpillar. “The advancements we’re making at Caterpillar are making a difference not only to our customers in the mining industry, but to many other industries, as well. There’s still so much left to discover. We’re excited to be at the forefront.”

Usually held in Las Vegas, CES is billed as a proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators, and has become a must-attend event for even mainstream media.

“People may ask why a manufacturing company like Caterpillar has decided to participate in CES,” said Johnson. “The real question is ‘why not?’ We’re proud of our reputation for building some of the biggest, most productive machines in the world. But the technology that goes along with those machines is built by Caterpillar, too.”

Caterpillar has been developing autonomous mining vehicles for 30 years, and now has more than 350 trucks operating 24/7 on three continents. These trucks have travelled more than 90 million kilometres and moved more than 2.5 billion tonnes of material — all without a single lost-time injury, Caterpillar claimed.

In its virtual showcase to CES attendees, Caterpillar gave product demonstrations that highlighted manned and unmanned solutions for surface operations, as well as a suite of underground technology offerings. Real-world examples were highlighted, including an autonomous haulage solution operating in extreme conditions at the Kearl Oil Sands site in Alberta, Canada (see main image above and the video below).

The company also aimed to use its time at CES to connect with other innovators and to find new talent.

“When we combine our efforts, we’re able to more quickly develop and produce the technologies our customers need,” said Johnson. “We need the best and the brightest engineers, developers and tech experts to help us turn those investments into solutions for our customers.”