ZCORE enables the equipment to “recognize, judge and execute,” which operators conventionally do at construction sites. ZCORE consists of “information processing platform,” which collects data from various sensors and communication networks, and “machine control platform,” which controls hydraulic components and power-train components. It is a system platform, which allows for flexible expansion of functionality. With the use of ZCORE, Hitachi Construction Machinery is now able to develop autonomous equipment more quickly and adapt or add functions according to various customer needs.
In the future, the company plans to utilize ZCORE on autonomous hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders and rigid dump trucks.
In the construction industry, the challenge is to increase productivity with less manpower given the decreasing production workers and aging skilled workers. Although great expectations are placed on the development of autonomous construction equipment as a solution, it is important to ensure the safety of people working around such equipment.
Hitachi Construction Machinery envisions future construction sites where man and equipment will be working together in a cooperative manner. We aim for the realization of “Cooperative Safety” at construction sites where safety and productivity are enhanced through information exchanges between man and equipment, equipment and equipment, and equipment and the surrounding environment. To make this a reality, “cooperative construction equipment,” which autonomously operate in a cooperative manner with people, is required. ZCORE is a system platform by which both cooperative safety and advanced autonomous operation are realized.