Scania has announced it has  started selling its range of autonomous mining trucks, which it says  will lead to  to safer, more efficient and more sustainable mining operations.

Scania says that the realisation of autonomous transport is a big step forward as Scania opens up for orders of its self-driving mining solutions. The company says it is now possible to place orders for Scania’s 40-tonne autonomous heavy tipper for mining, with the 50-tonne model to follow shortly afterwards.

As a first step, Scania says it  will start sales of its autonomous mining solutions in Australia, with first deliveries and start of operation scheduled from 2026. The next market in line according to Scania  will most likely be Latin America, a region where it has a significant market presence in the mining segment.

“The transition from research and development to the launch of a commercial product is a major milestone for us and for autonomous heavy transport in general. This is the most advanced product Scania has put on the market so far,”  Scania’s vice president and head of autonomous solutions Peter Hafmar said.

According to Scania, mines have long been seen as one of the most promising environments for autonomous vehicles, as they can contribute to safer working conditions and more efficient operations.

Scania says its mining solutions with smaller, civil-class trucks also have potential advantages over the industry’s traditional heavy haulage trucks, both in terms of emissions and productivity.

Scania says  that by utilising its autonomous mining trucks, the overall mining footprint including energy and infrastructure requirements can be reduced, meaning that capital and operating expenses may also be reduced at suitable sites.

The company say its autonomous trucks can also be smoothly fitted into an existing operations set-up in a mine, thanks to their inter-operability with other systems and vehicles.

“Another benefit with our solution is that it allows mining companies to more quickly take the next step towards zero-emission operations. It’s easier to electrify operations with Scania’s autonomous trucks compared with traditional heavy haulage trucks,” said Hafmar.

Over the past ten years, Scania says it has invested heavily in the development of self-driving vehicles and innovations include applications for hub-to-hub transport on highways as well as autonomous vehicles for confined areas such as mines.

Scania’ says its autonomous tipper truck has been developed in close cooperation between Scania’s R&D department and customers in the mining industry, with extensive testing in the harshest real-life conditions.

“It’s probably the most ambitious research and development project we have done so far together with a customer, and I am very pleased about the result. Thanks to all the rigorous checks and numerous on-site tests we have been able to develop an optimal autonomous transport solution for mines,” Peter Hafmar concluded.