Teleo Debuts Autonomous Materials Hauling on Active Jobsites
The company plans to have 20 Teleo-retrofitted machines on customer sites by the end of 2023.
Teleo announced that Florida-based Tomahawk Construction will become the first customer to deploy its autonomous capabilities on an active jobsite. Starting in December, Tomahawk Construction’s articulated dump trucks will use autonomous functions to move material to build a residential community in Naples, Florida.
Teleo also announced deals with eight new construction customers, including Ajax Paving Industries in Florida. The new customers have placed orders for 42 machines to be retrofitted with Teleo’s autonomous and remote-operated technology. In addition, the tech company expanded its global dealer partner network to include Ozark Laser, Murphy Tractor and Position Partners. The expanded network covers an additional seven states across the U.S. Midwest and in Australia.
“Construction companies are facing historic labor shortages and incurring significant costs as their machines sit idle,” said Vinay Shet, co-founder and CEO of Teleo. “We are seeing an unprecedented number of customer orders, which demonstrates Teleo’s powerful value proposition. Our technology breathes new life into our customers’ machines, addresses their labor shortages, and makes the operators’ role safer and more comfortable.”
The initial autonomous capability being launched by Teleo is tramming, or autonomous hauling materials from one point to another. The autonomous feature will be introduced on three of Tomahawk Construction’s machines and roll out to 12 machines over the course of a few months. By automating the tramming portion, one operator can run multiple machines simultaneously. The physical dumping of materials will be handled remotely by one operator controlling multiple machines from a command center.
“Teleo’s technology has the potential to completely transform our operations,” said Scott Lyons, managing member of Tomahawk Construction. “With Teleo, two of our dump trucks that have been idle will be put back into service to haul dirt across the site autonomously, allowing our remote operators to do more. This will help us to run a more efficient operation.”
Teleo has been testing its autonomous capabilities on two John Deere 333G Compact Track Loader skid steers at its Pleasanton, California, proving grounds and on a Komatsu WA500 wheel loader moving dirt at the Ouluzone racetrack property in Finland, which is affiliated with the University of Oulu.
Autonomous retrofits gaining ground
The eight new customers will deploy the 42 new Teleo-enabled machines on 17 jobsites across eight U.S. states and Europe. Teleo will retrofit machines across brands such as Caterpillar, Komatsu, John Deere and Volvo for remote and autonomous operations. The machines will range in model year from 2005 to 2022. Teleo plans to have 20 machines on customer sites by the end of 2023.
Ajax Paving will outfit two new Caterpillar wheel loaders with Teleo’s technology. These loaders will be stationed at two of the company’s asphalt manufacturing plants to load the bins. The plants are roughly 80 miles (129 km) apart, marking the first time one operator will work across two jobsites, Teleo claims.
“The asphalt industry operates on tight schedules,” said Andy DeCraene, Vice President, Ajax Paving. “When our customers require asphalt, we must deliver promptly, making it imperative for our machines and operators to remain available. Allowing one operator to control machines at multiple sites is a significant advantage. If an operator is unavailable at one site, another can operate the machine remotely. This is a genuine game changer for our business.”
Teleo also recently demonstrated its Supervised Autonomy capability, which reportedly enables remote and semi-autonomous operations of any make and model of heavy construction equipment. From Dallas, Texas, the company operated machines at both its Pleasanton, Calif., proving ground and the Ouluzone worksite in Finland. Dallas-to-Finland is the world’s longest supervised autonomous operation in history, according to Teleo.
The demonstration also marked the first time that remote operators working from a control center could operate up to three Teleo-equipped machines.