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We had a big presence at CES 2023 — take a look at our booth and learn more about why we were there
By Caterpillar | Posted March 15, 2023
At the recent CES® 2023 show in Las Vegas, Caterpillar based its exhibit around the word “big” — and its presence was big in every way. From the big truck at the center of the floor to the big crowds waiting to climb into the truck bed, the company made a big step forward in positioning itself as a leader in technology and autonomy.
“For nearly 100 years, our customers have relied on us to help them solve their toughest problems,” said Denise Johnson, group president of Caterpillar Resource Industries. “And for the last 40, they’ve been utilizing our breadth of technology solutions, including automation and autonomy, to help them meet productivity and safety goals. We continue to advance our solutions as we join our customers in an effort to build a safer, more sustainable world.”
CES 2023 attracted more than 115,000 attendees and 4,800 members of the global media. And the Caterpillar booth garnered plenty of attention, with a large autonomous truck at the center of the exhibit. Out of 3,200 exhibits, the Caterpillar booth was named in the Top Ten by Exhibitor Magazine’s Best of CES 2023.
Caterpillar’s first CES exhibit, in 2021, was a virtual event where the company showed off its autonomy and technology solutions — billing itself as a real technology company doing real work around the world.
In 2023, Caterpillar let visitors see for themselves what a big deal those solutions really are — showcasing them on an autonomous 100-ton Cat® 777 truck and allowing people on the show floor to operate heavy equipment remotely — from thousands of miles away.
“The sheer size of our trucks always turns heads,” said Karl Weiss, Caterpillar senior vice president and chief technology officer. “But the real wow factor is the technology embedded within the iron.”
Equipped with Cat MineStar™ Command for hauling, that single autonomous truck represented more than 580 Cat trucks — most of them 4x bigger — that are operating around the world autonomously today.
An Augmented Reality experience held inside the bed of the truck shared more information on this autonomous solution, from the size and scale of the mining machines it automates to the real results this solution has achieved since it first went to work on a mine site nearly a decade ago: 550 billion tonnes of material hauled, and 200+ million kilometers traveled — all without a single lost-time injury.
The Cat 777, a new addition to the company’s autonomous truck lineup, also represented Caterpillar’s first-ever autonomous deployment in the aggregates industry. Representatives from Caterpillar customer Luck Stone, a family-owned and operated producer of crushed stone, sand and gravel, visited the show floor to celebrate its collaboration with Caterpillar for the deployment of autonomous haulage at its Bull Run Plant in Chantilly, Virginia.
“Caterpillar has a long-standing relationship with Luck Stone, and we look forward to working together to bring the demonstrated benefits of increased safety and productivity to the quarry industry. We’re excited to get in the dirt and work alongside Luck Stone’s innovative team, so we can learn how to scale our already proven mining solution for another industry,” said Johnson.
The booth’s remote operating stations were also a highlight of the show, with a steady stream of visitors eager for the chance to remotely operate a dozer in Arizona or an excavator in Illinois — live from Las Vegas.
As Caterpillar continues to grow its technology solutions, the search is on to find the best and brightest in the tech industry to help design, execute, implement and support them. To help in that effort, the company used CES as a recruiting opportunity.
“We’re looking for the next generation of Cat innovators — and the people who attend and exhibit at CES are the kind of people we want on our team,” said Marc Cameron, senior vice president of Caterpillar’s Resource Industries Sales, Services and Technology division. “We were excited to be able to share the big opportunities we have throughout the company, especially in the area of autonomous vehicles.”
The exhibit featured an area dedicated to recruiting, with information on high-tech jobs that are available today and an opportunity to interview on the spot for a position at Caterpillar.
In addition, the company hosted about 250 pre-selected college juniors and seniors to Las Vegas for what it called its biggest recruiting event of the year. Students spent the day with a Caterpillar chaperone, interacting with senior leaders and hiring specialists and enjoying an exclusive, hosted tour of the Caterpillar booth.
“Our employees are working every day on high-tech solutions that have a big impact on our customers’ operations,” said Cameron. “This diverse team of talented people is making a big, positive impact on our world. And the opportunities to grow your career at Caterpillar are just as big.”
While the booth showcased technology and autonomy solutions for both the construction and mining industries, Caterpillar used CES as an opportunity to provide information on the mining industry to a group of people who may not be familiar with the critical role it plays in our developing world.
A large video screen located in the truck bed gave visitors a glimpse of what mining makes possible through a display of everyday items that exist only because of the products provided by the modern mining industry. Cat experts were also on hand to share the value of the industry and the job opportunities it provides.
“Our world depends on the metals and minerals we mine — and the quantity we rely on in our everyday lives is staggering,” said Johnson. “And they’ll continue to become more critical in the future, because sustainable power, renewable energy and electric vehicles will require even more of the materials we already depend on.”
In addition to promoting its technology and autonomy solutions, Caterpillar also used its presence at CES to highlight how these solutions can have a positive impact on safety, sustainability and social responsibility.
“Our technology solutions help our customers work more efficiently, effectively and consistently,” said Johnson. “And when they do that, their operations have less of an impact on the environment. We’re also taking our leadership in automation and expanding it to become leaders in the energy transformation, too. We’re innovating to find new, more environmentally friendly ways to power machines and provide site-level power solutions.”
Caterpillar has recently been in the news for the successful demonstration of its first battery electric large mining truck and also for efforts to transform its Arizona machine proving ground into a sustainable testing and validation hub for new power and energy solutions.
The company’s autonomy and power solutions will go hand-in-hand, Johnson explained.
“The next challenge for autonomy will be how it’s going to play a role in helping sites manage power — both for machines and their overall operations,” she said. “This will be critical as more and more assets require electricity to operate. In fact, we believe that 100% of the battery-powered trucks operating on sites in the future will also be autonomous. The consistency and predictability provided by automation will be the key to keeping these trucks charged and moving around the clock.”