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04.27.2017

A Charted Pathway to Autonomy

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The May 2017 issue of International Mining Magazine published a feature article on ASI highlighting our innovative, graduated approach to implementing autonomous solutions for mining companies. This graduated autonomy model champions the deliberate and incremental integration of driverless elements that charts the pathway to a fully unmanned operation.

THE PITFALLS OF PIECEMEAL WITHOUT A ROADMAP

Going from a manned fleet to an unmanned one is a complex endeavor that is unfeasible for many mining operations, whether it be due to the inability to fund such an initiative or the possibility of short-term production disruption during the transition. In order to wade into the waters of autonomy, some mine operation have taken a piecemeal approach, rolling out select autonomous elements without considering how these assets will fit into a complete system that one day realizes full autonomy.

Investing in a few automated solutions here and there without a clear view of the big picture frequently results in wasted time and money when operations discover that their equipment must be scrapped in order to advance to a new level of greater autonomy.



THE GRADUAL APPROACH

ASI’s model is designed not just for big mining companies seeking to transition to full autonomy in a pragmatic step-by-step fashion, but also mid-tier and smaller operations with limited resources. The gradual approach is conceived as an integrated, concentric pie chart that encompasses all elements of full autonomy and the steps needed to achieve it.

Our model is supported by technology that is OEM agnostic and scalable, meaning that assets are interoperable with those from multiple vendors, both existing and new, and can be expanded at a time of the client’s choosing. This incremental and future-proof system is advantageous to operations of all sizes, since it provides an opportunity to customize and configure an approach to each site, depending on its unique readiness.




THE FLEXIBILITY OF MOBIUS

The ASI incremental approach is made possible by centering our Mobius Command and Control platform at the core. The software initially delivers partial automation of the haulage fleet, and operator assist functions such as collision warning, fatigue monitoring, or auto spotting.

We developed it as a flexible solution that can operate as a fleet management system or integrate with an existing one. While a company may start off small by implementing a few operator assist functions, Mobius stands ready to scale into more advanced features until full autonomy is attained.

In order to deliver the greatest value to customers both now and in the future, ASI’s graduated model charts a sample path one could take to reach full autonomy. Mine operations can add autonomous solutions at their own pace with the confidence that each investment brings them one step closer to a completely unmanned operation.

If you’d like a more detailed pathway, our autonomy application specialists are ready to help!