The dumpers used for excavating bauxite for the manufacture of aluminum weigh up to 570 tons. Thanks to driver assistance systems from SICK, these colossal vehicles travel with optimum precision.

The requirements for driver assistance systems used in mining are particularly stringent, as they have to be able to cope with the harsh environment and tough working conditions.  High system through-put, reliability, and very low false alarm rate are also expected.

Too many false alarms and the driver will quickly ignore them, rendering the investment pointless. In terms of the human-machine relationship, the driver represents the weakest link; even in mining, tiredness and distractions make people the number one cause of accidents.

MINESIC100 TPS: Ideal for Use in Open Cast Mining Applications

The MINESIC100 TPS (Truck Protection System) is a warning system for collision prevention and lane monitoring. It was designed for all types and sizes of dumpers.  The largest of these is over 15 meters (approx. 50 feet) long, almost 10 meters (30 feet) wide, and weighs 570 tons when loaded.

This corresponds to a weight of around 330 medium-sized vehicles.  At this size, it is practically impossible for the driver to maintain an overview of all areas of the vehicle in all driving scenarios.  This is where the TPS driver assistance system comes into play. It monitors the two critical areas in front of and behind the truck and warns the driver as necessary.

It also determines the position of the truck on the road. If the truck veers to close to the edge of the road or unintentionally fringes upon the opposite lane, the driver is warned.  If the driver intentionally leaves the road, to make a turn or dodge an obstacle, the system recognizes this and does not emit a (false) warning.

The heart of the system is a five inch touchscreen with integrated computer – similar to modern navigation systems.  All the sensor data is routed here where it is processed by the TPS application software.  If a critical situation is detected, it alerts the driver visually, according to the situation in question. An audible alarm also helps attract the driver's attention.

Watch the video to see the TPS system in action, or learn more at