Moving up 26 spots from 2014, Logan, Utah, placed ninth overall in the Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities index for 2015. Excellent job growth and a collection of diverse technology companies contributed to Logan's significant leap in the small city division, the study said.

Key to Logan's performance is an abundance of cutting-edge technology firms like Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI). Located a scenic twenty minutes from downtown Logan, ASI develops, tests, and deploys robotic vehicle hardware and software for a number of industries ranging from mining to industrial cleaning.

"Job growth [in the Logan metro area] outperformed the national average and ranked in the upper echelon in both the one-year and five-year periods ending in 2014," the study read. Sparked by an increased global focus on automation and productivity, particularly in the mining industry, ASI's growth mirrors Logan's trend having grown from 28 employees in 2011 to nearly 120 employees today.

"Technology readiness and customer demand are finally converging for what looks to be an exponential adoption curve," said ASI's President and CEO, Mel Torrie, in a press release announcing ASI's spot on this year's Inc. 5000 list. ASI was awarded the No. 19 spot in the engineering category and No. 1716 overall.
"We've seen more demand in the last 18 months than we've seen in the previous 15 years."

"We know we operate in a very positive environment in the Logan area," said Jared Pratt, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at ASI. "Along with developing technology at a high level, we also go above and beyond to effectively support the local families of our employees and give back to the community. We take a lot of pride in who we are and what we do here at ASI, and that's only going to lead to continued growth for our company and the community."

Raw point cloud data generated by ASI's Forcast lidar and analyzed by Vantage™ perception softwareRaw point cloud data generated by ASI's Forcast lidar and analyzed by Vantage™ perception software

Each autonomous vehicle system employs a set of sensors that provide environmental feedback for safety, navigation, and other essential vehicle functions. Up until this point, sensors with high levels of accuracy have been too expensive for most users to afford, but that is rapidly changing.

From a vertically spinning LIDAR on a mining truck to a stereo camera on a Packbot , it's not uncommon to see any one of a number of sensors atop an unmanned vehicle at Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI). GPS, LIDAR, infrared, and vision-based sensor technologies play an integral role in any autonomous vehicle system. Feedback from a network of sensors and software algorithms enables an unmanned vehicle to essentially “see" what is going on in its environment and react intelligently.

Unfortunately, sensors--which are generally the largest cost-driver in the autonomous system--and budgets do not always match up, forcing companies to sacrifice their desired level of accuracy for a more affordable sensor. Change is close, however, according to ASI's Jared Pratt.
"As sensor prices have dropped and as the algorithms have improved to leverage lower cost sensors, more automation applications are showing a strong return on investment"
said Pratt in a recent article by OEM-Off Highway's Sara Jensen.

Nick Holland, CEO of Gold Fields, one of the world's largest gold mining firms, recently outlined many of the challenges faced by gold producers—as well as by miners of most other resources—and discussed the roadmap Gold Fields intends to take to thrive in today's mining environment. His address took place at the Future Mining Conference 2015 in Sydney Australia, November 4, 2015.

Holland shared that due to challenges in the recent years such as lower grade of ore deposits, significant global price drops, and cost inflation, "shareholder value [has slumped] by 50-80% since 2007." With pressures on global commodities, today's mining industry at large mirrors this trend, though Holland's presentation provided a dramatic window into just how piercing these pressures have been.
"The gold mine of the future has to be set up, structured, and managed differently from how it is today if it is to remain relevant and value-adding to all its stakeholders,"
Holland concluded.

ASI's bell-crank pedal actuation in a robotic ford durability vehicle

ASI's bell-crank pedal actuation in a robotic ford durability vehicle

“Replacing the human element with a robotic system means fewer lost man hours to illness and fatigue as well as better, more cost-effective long-term vehicle testing. The tests, which can put 10 or more years of simulated real-world use on a vehicle in just a few months, are a critical part of the product development cycle and the continued improvements that car manufacturers make to their product lines.”


Check out the full article featuring ASI’s autonomous technology

The interior of a robotically controlled ford vehicle

How does Ford ensure their vehicles are “Ford Tough?” Part of it is done with ASI’s technology. Ford uses ASI’s vehicle automation kit to perform durability and misuse testing at their proving grounds in Michigan.

Every new vehicle made by any manufacturer is put through rigorous testing that equates to years of use. Some of this testing can put drivers in hazardous driving conditions - imagine driving down a pothole-filled road at 40 mph or worse for hours on end. Due to these conditions, autonomously controlled vehicles can maintain better test results and eliminate the risk of injury while putting more hours and miles on at a much quicker rate.

Check out WIRED’s article with Ford about ASI’s vehicle automation kit

A ford truck being run through rigorous durability tests using ASI's robotic vehicle automation kit.A ford truck being run through rigorous durability tests using ASI's robotic vehicle automation kit.

  • Autonomous Solutions Inc. and Ford are licensing robotic vehicle testing technology to other vehicle manufacturers

  • Industry-first technology saves time and spares human drivers from physical abuse by accelerating high-impact on-road and off-road durability testing

  • Patented robotic durability testing used to ensure Ford trucks, including the all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty, are Built Ford Tough

PETERSBORO, Utah, Nov. 3, 2015 – Autonomous Solutions Inc. (ASI) partnered with Ford to further develop ASI’s software and hardware components that enable autonomous, robotic operation of test vehicles. The industry-first technology saves time and spares human drivers from such physically demanding tasks as driving over curbs and through potholes in durability testing.

Now, other automakers are set to benefit from this technology.

An autonomous rigid haul truck equipped with ASI's OEM agnostic vehicle automation kit.An autonomous rigid haul truck equipped with ASI's OEM agnostic vehicle automation kit.

Rio Tinto Autonomation Numbers Help Miners Invest in Vehicle Robotics with Confidence

Amidst global economic slowdowns, mining companies around the world have been exploring vehicle automation technology as a way to slash costs and improve efficiency in their operations. However, in the absence of concrete numbers proving the effectiveness of vehicle robotics, experts and critics have battled over its ability to make mining operations safer and more efficient. The wait is over as global mining major Rio Tinto released a variety of statistics that not only demonstrate vehicle robotics is effective but how effective.

Deep in the Australian outback, 1200 miles from the nearest major city, Perth, lies a rich mining region known as the Pilbara. Rio Tinto and other global mining majors such as BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) have established mining sites and infrastructures that ferry minerals from their extraction site all the way to port. The extensive networks include long haul routes that require massive mining trucks to transport loads approaching 400 tons (800,000 lbs).

Safety is ASI's number one priority. Requesting a safety audit from HORIBA MIRA helps ASI evaluate and enhance its internal processes to ensure that rigorous international safety standards are continually in place to be met.Safety is ASI's number one priority. Requesting a safety audit from HORIBA MIRA helps ASI evaluate and enhance its internal processes to ensure that rigorous international safety standards are continually in place to be met.

ASI is pleased to have been audited by an external auditor Dr. David Ward of HORIBA MIRA. ASI engineering processes were reviewed over a period of 4 days this summer and the approach to the functional safety of our products was assessed against a range of international functional safety engineering standards including IEC 61508, ISO 26262, ISO 17757 and ISO 13849.

“It’s a pleasure working with HORIBA MIRA and David Ward. He’s a professional of the utmost integrity and patience, always pragmatic and extremely knowledgeable in a broad range of sectors including Mining, Security, Agriculture and Automotive where ASI customers are realizing huge savings and productivity improvements through using our products and services,” says Jonathan Moore, ASI Chief Engineer.

“As autonomous solutions become more widespread in automotive and industrial applications it’s important that we demonstrate their dependability, compliance with functional safety standards is an important aspect of demonstrating a rigorous approach to product design and implementation,” says Dr. David Ward, HORIBA MIRA.

“It’s encouraging to see a technology innovator embodying these principles as part of their core engineering processes.”

Related topics: Articles
An ASI Automated Ford Explorer

ASI was recently in news of The Herald Journal, a Logan, Utah daily newspaper.

Reporters from the Herald Journal visited our headquarters in Petersboro, Utah to speak with ASI, tour our facilities and see some of the latest and greatest that’s going on around here. They talk about our recent growth, award, and ASI in general.

Read their article to get a local perspective on who ASI is.

Photo: Eli Lucero / Herald Journal

ASI Steering Robot on a Ford F-150

ASI’s Automation Kit will be featured on cable TV’s popluar show Translogic. The episode will air on Velocity some date in the near future, click the link below to see the clip now.

Translogic producer, Jonathan Buckley, takes a ride in a Ford truck that has no driver. Instead, it is equipped with one of ASI’s automation robots.

Ford uses ASI’s driverless solutions on vehicles at their Michigan proving ground on tracks designed to put vehicles through the toughest of tests. These tests can be abusive on human drivers and there are limits to how long a driver can operate a vehicle on these types of tracks. So using these automation kits for Ford provides safe, accurate, and repeatable results.

See ASI’s Automation Kit in action at the Ford Proving Grounds.