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Bell and Pronto collaborate on autonomous ADTs

Autonomous Bell B50E dumptruck

Focus on interoperability leads to collaboration with leading automation technology developer

IN a move aimed at reinforcing Bell Equipment’s position as ‘the most affordable autonomous articulated dumptruck in the world’, the South African-based ADT manufacturer’s focus on interoperability has culminated in a collaboration with automation technology developers Pronto AI.

Pronto are one of the recognized leaders in autonomous driving and collision avoidance solutions. The company’s team has decades of experience and a number of key ‘firsts’ in the autonomous vehicles industry.

Pronto’s technology, which was designed to safely navigate unpredictable, busy, highway environments, is the only one that has successfully driven coast to coast (San Francisco to New York) without any driver input into a vehicle’s controls.

Today, that same technology is being applied to less-congested and more-predictable off-road operations, providing multiple layers of safety protections and assuring flawless operations. The result, say Pronto, is a far simpler, more scalable, and affordable autonomous solution for off-road environments.

Bell Equipment have welcomed the opportunity to work with Pronto AI as they seek to drive new technology and innovation by achieving interoperability between different control systems and the off-road trucks they produce.

Autonomy is achieved on the E-series ADTs by marrying Pronto AI’s plug-and-play hardware and software with the ‘autonomous ready’ platform of the Bell ADTs. The result is a fully autonomous standard Bell ADT, able to operate through the load, haul, and dump cycle without an operator.

‘We’re excited to bring our technology to markets that can most benefit from safety and efficiency improvements,’ said Ognen Stojanovski, chief operating officer of Pronto. ‘The technology needs to be simple to install, easy to operate, flexible, and affordable. We’ve accomplished all of that, and Bell Equipment with their advanced ADT platform are a natural partner for us as we roll this out to the industry at large.’

Pieter Goosen, Bell Equipment’s chief technology officer, commented: ‘An ADT that can work 24/7, with the safety elements deployed in Pronto’s software and with haul optimization and absolute consistency in the way it operates, is fascinating. Lower operating costs, making work sites safer, and lower daily maintenance will see production efficiency and cost at its best.’

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