ITcon Vol. 22, pg. 247-265,

Earthmoving equipment automation: a review of technical advances and future outlook

submitted:May 2016
revised:December 2016
published:October 2017
editor(s):Ruikar K.
authors:Ehsan Rezazadeh Azar, Assistant Professor
Department of Civil Engineering, Lakehead University

Vineet R. Kamat, Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan
summary:In the construction industry, the earthmoving sector is among the pioneers in adopting new sensing and information technologies to reduce operation costs, improve productivity, and enhance automation and safety. Fleet tracking and management systems, automated machine guidance and control, and proximity detection devices for accident warning are some examples of emerging products for earthmoving equipment. In addition to the commercial solutions, the research community actively develops and evaluates new systems in this area. This paper aims to critically review the related advances in this field. A three-phase literature review was carried out to investigate the innovations in industrial and academic research communities. Advances in six major industrial companies and a total of 102 related academic papers have been reviewed and discussed. Based on the application area and the function, current research works are divided into four categories: equipment tracking and fleet management, safety management, equipment pose estimation and machine control technology, and remote control and autonomous operation. The underlying technologies and methods used in these systems are discussed in detail. Finally, future research opportunities, based on the identified shortcomings and gaps in knowledge, are highlighted. In particular, the remote control and autonomous operation of earthmoving equipment are identified as the most underdeveloped and complicated areas, and the missing modules and research directions in these fields are discussed.
keywords:earthmoving equipment, sensing technology, information systems, productivity, automation
full text: (PDF file, 1.404 MB)
citation:Azar EA, Kamat VR (2017). Earthmoving equipment automation: a review of technical advances and future outlook, ITcon Vol. 22, pg. 247-265,