Caterpillar is introducing a new collision avoidance system, Proximity Awareness, for surface vehicles. Part of Cat MineStar Detect capability set, the new system uses the latest peer-to-peer communications leveraged by the automotive industry. The system delivers fast and reliable communications between vehicles and presents collision avoidance information to operators without the need for a robust radio network covering the site.
The onboard hardware can be fitted to light vehicles and to any brand of surface mining equipment. Fewer components are required compared to the previous Cat Proximity Awareness system, which uses a WiFi network. The result is reduced space required onboard vehicles, fast installation and lower cost.
The onboard display can store up to 24 hours of incident data. This data is sent to the office for storage and analysis by using strategically located communications hot spots on site. Incident capture, playback and reporting are independent of MineStar Fleet.
Cat MineStar Fleet, Proximity Awareness and Object Detection can run on a single, in-cab display. The new Proximity Awareness system also features alarm tones that operators can easily distinguish from alerts delivered by other systems. When combined with Fleet in the office, enhanced reporting includes operator performance as related to the number of safety incidents. The new system retains the many features provided by the previous system, such as avoidance zones, speed zones, highly configurable machine envelopes and projected paths, operator notifications, incident capture and playback for training or incident reconstruction.
Like the previous system, the new system is easy for operators to use. The Proximity Awareness system presents information to the operator via an intuitive graphic display in the cab. The system provides three onboard alarming levels. The zones, which define alarming, are customer configurable. Alarming priority ranges from low to critical. Low priority indicates the projected path of a machine is on course to collide with another machine, or it’s following another machine too closely. Critical alarms occur when two or more machines have their closest zones intersect. If machines routinely are in close proximity, such as loading and hauling vehicles, alarm filters can be implemented between machines classes to silence non-critical warnings.