Mining equipment and services provider Komatsu has launched its global Center of Excellence (CoE) for Autonomous Haulage Systems (AHS) in Tucson, Arizona, US.

The facility will be responsible for AHS strategy, planning, marketing, sales support and training.

Additionally, it will allow Komatsu to respond to customers’ needs quickly in the expanding autonomous environment.

Komatsu Global Mining Business Division vice-president Jim Nishiura said: “This is a major step forward for Komatsu’s unified approach to mining.

“Our diversified FrontRunner AHS team is united by common goals, workflows and strategies to deliver maximum value to our customers as well as our customer-facing teams and distributors.”

Komatsu appointed former KLTD AHS group manager Shingo Hori and Modular Mining AHS and Communications vice-president Anthony Cook as co-general managers of the CoE.

The company noted that these organisational changes are focused on its business strategy to improve performance on a continuous basis while delivering increased value to customers.

Komatsu’s AHS was commercially released 11 years ago and has autonomously moved more than two billion tonnes of surface material since then.

The AHS play a key role in mine management, creating safer work environments and increasing productivity and reducing operating costs.

“This is a major step forward for Komatsu’s unified approach to mining.”

AHS haul trucks operate autonomously over high-performance wireless networks and have been designed to operate an entire fleet by a single operator.

Komatsu announced in January this year that its AHS network can now operate over long-term evolution (LTE) broadband networks.

Komatsu has a full line of products supported by advanced IoT technologies and helps customers safely and sustainably optimise their operations.