Autonomous vehicle software provider Oxbotica and mining tech firm Wenco have agreed to develop an ‘Open Autonomy’ system for autonomous vehicles in mining. The joint platform will be ready for trials in 2021 and, when developed, can be retro-fitted into existing vehicles, enabling mining companies to integrate any open standard-based autonomous vehicle into their fleets.
Oxbotica CEO Ozgur Tohumcu said: “The mining industry has proven to be at the forefront of deploying early generation autonomy systems because the business case has been clear for operators. However, even years after early deployments, less than two per cent of vehicles are autonomous in mines around the world. Together with Wenco, we would like to accelerate the adoption of autonomy in mining, making it much easier for mine operators to deploy autonomous technologies and enjoy the benefits.”
Andrew Pyne, Wenco President and CEO commented “Wenco and Oxbotica believe firmly in the principle of open systems and consider it the primary way to bring about our joint goals of widespread adoption of autonomous technology and safer, more productive industrial operations.”
Wenco and Oxbotica both create technologies supporting open and interoperable partners who integrate solutions alongside existing mine infrastructure. The two companies see their solutions as giving mine operators flexibility and control when installing new solutions while reducing associated risks and costs, avoiding vendor lock-in and offering a choice of technologies.
Oxbotica has a number of engagements and ongoing trials in the mining industry, and has trialled its autonomy software in surface and underground mines with different types of vehicles.
An Oxford University spin-out, Oxbotica was founded in 2014 to develop a software platform for industry-specific autonomy applications.
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