Vehicles tech has been at the forefront of this year.
It's all digital CES 2021.
But to wrap your head around this next piece of tech, it's gonna require you to think a little bit bigger.
Bigger than that.
Nope, really, really big.
That's why I like it.
Caterpillar has over 90 years of experience in the heavy equipment industry and is synonymous with big yellow trucks, but also been working on autonomous tech from underground loaders to drills even trains for the last 30 years.
However, the wheels that you're probably most interested in belong to the Cat 797 F ultra class autonomous loading vehicle The 797F itself isn't particularly new but it is a really good showpiece for cars autonomous technologies.
The truck itself is as large as a two and a half storey, 3000 square foot house and is powered by a 106 liter V20 diesel engine, sending 4000 horsepower through a seven speed transmission to its massive dually rear wheels.
Top speed is 42 miles per hour, which is impressive for a vehicle that weighs 285 tons.
And that's when it's empty.
We're talking around 687 times which Caterpillar tells me is around the famous 15 loaded commercial airliners.
There's no yeah, it can also operate with nobody in the driver's seat, likely autonomous passenger cars and semi truck currently in development.
The 797 f makes use of radar LIDAR, high precision GPS and data connectivity to move around mining sites autonomously.
And of course, there's a lot less traffic, pedestrians, and cyclists at your average quarry.
But the simpler, more specific conditions have allowed Cat to make use of these autonomous trucks in actual working conditions.
Since they've been in operation, Caterpillar reckons its AV trucks have moved over 4.91, capital t, trillion pounds of material That's enough Earth stone and material to lay a six foot deep dirt road stretching the entire circumference of the earth.
That's four lanes wide.
The big yellow dump trucks are set to boost efficiency and productivity of mining operations allowing sites to operate 24 seven while improving safety And yeah, the mining industry has a huge environmental impact that could and should be argued, examined closely and could definitely benefit from any improvement in efficiency that it can get.
And while I don't think that autonomy is that environmental silver bullet, I do think that we can all agree that at the very least the safety of the miners and workers on those sites is important..
Cats claiming zero loss time to incidents or injuries due to its autonomous tech after over 87 million kilometers of operation which is impressive.
So why is Caterpillar at CES showcasing a truck that you can't buy that's already been in operation for millions of miles.
No doubt, partially to flex I mean the 797 f has got to be the single largest piece of tech ever showcase.
That's the S But it's also looking to showcase the rest of its autonomous technologies and of course, to build partnerships, pretty much every other technology and product of the show.
Every tech product you've ever used relies on materials derived from mining, making mining tech a bigger behind the scenes deal than you might think.
Speaking of the rest of the ticket fee of 2021, consider heading over to the roadshow.com where our more in depth coverage lives.
This show aside from being all digital is shaping up to be one of the weirdest that I've ever seen.
I mean, did you know that GM and FCA are completely separately, getting into the air taxi industry?
I know it's frickin nuts.