ABD Solutions (Bradford-on-Avon, UK), a market-leading provider of vehicle automation, announced on September 20, 2022, that it had introduced Indigo Drive, a software eco-system that makes it possible to quickly and affordably automate any mining truck.
Through autonomous truck fleets, Indigo Drive is poised to revolutionize the mining sector by reducing the effects of a shrinking workforce. To date, 10,000 additional workers are expected to be needed annually over the next ten years to fill new positions and replace existing ones, according to the Mining Association of Canada. The Australian Minerals Council anticipates a similar 86,000 worker need.
“What sets Indigo Drive apart is that it can be installed into vehicles already in use, so autonomy can be achieved much faster and requires significantly less investment than by replacing the entire fleet,” said Matthew Price, Managing Director of ABD Solutions. “Driverless vehicles enable site operations to become more streamlined by removing downtime and delays caused by staff shortages and ensuring continuity of projects. The industry also becomes safer by limiting driver exposure to extreme and dangerous environments.”
Indigo Drive can be fitted into cars currently in operation
According to Matthew Price, Managing Director of ABD Solutions, “What makes Indigo Drive distinctive is that it can be fitted into cars currently in operation. Thus, autonomy can be attained much more quickly and with significantly less investment than simply replacing the entire fleet.” “Driverless vehicles make site operations more efficient by eliminating downtime and delays brought on by staff shortages, assuring project continuity simultaneously. By minimizing drivers’ exposure to harsh and dangerous settings, the sector also gets safer.
Indigo Drive is a complete solution that is safe and certified and has everything needed to build driverless fleets. What is included can be customized to the unique vehicles and environments, from a user-friendly software interface for route planning to the technology needed to create movement (such as drive-by-wire and driving robots) to communication (Radio, V2X, GPS/GNSS), obstacle detection (LiDAR, camera, radar), and vehicle health and diagnostics (OBD2, telemetry, sensors).
The modular architecture makes it simple to integrate new technologies with existing ones, like fleet management software, which makes the process of building autonomous fleets faster and more efficient than before.
Vehicle automation enhances productivity
Automation enhances productivity tremendously by allowing vehicles to run for longer periods while also enhancing safety. Additionally, it offers a significant reduction in fuel use and emissions, which lowers operating costs and benefits the environment.
“By determining the extent and kind of automation needed,” Price continues, “we work with our customers to deliver customized systems for their environment, enabling fleet transformation without investment in new vehicles and optimizing the return on current high-value assets.”
The vehicle automation hardware is semi-permanent and only slightly modifies the vehicle, allowing it to be relocated from one vehicle to another should requirements change or if the vehicle requires maintenance. The apparatus greatly expands the vehicle’s operational versatility while remaining unobtrusive enough for the driver, if needed, to maintain control even while it is installed.
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With this vehicle automation system, it is possible to synchronize the entire fleet to maximize production and efficiency in a mining setting where operations are frequently repeated. Software for task planning ensures that trucks follow the most cost- and time-effective routes, cutting down on both. To stop other vehicles from running into the same problem, vehicles that can identify impediments can report them to the fleet management system. The vehicle management system can develop an alternate route once the obstruction has been reported, or a person can remotely enter the car to analyze the problem right away.
The digitization of vehicle data is a crucial indirect advantage of vehicle automation. Fleet operators greatly benefit from the new data streams it produces. The vehicle management toolkit can transmit information about the vehicle’s speed, location, fuel level, diagnostic status, distance to the target, and other things. This data can be processed automatically by data analytics to help with operational choices, fleet maintenance planning, and logistics.
ABD Solutions is currently undertaking an investigation into the potential introduction of Indigo Drive at Amaroq Minerals’ Nalunaq site in Greenland. The aim is to offer a framework that will enable ABD Solutions to deliver the hardware, software, and support required to run a wide variety of automation-enabled equipment.
A long-term working relationship between the company and Kyokuto Boeki Kaisha Ltd, one of Japan’s premier engineering and project management consultancies, has also been reached. The cooperation aims to hasten regional industrial and mining sectors’ autonomy.
ABD Solutions is a multinational company with offices for sales and technical support on three continents. It benefits from the experience of developing and providing hundreds of driving robots to the top automotive manufacturers, testing facilities, and regulatory bodies throughout the world as a member of the AB Dynamics Group. The Group has extensive expertise in simulation and vehicle automation.
Price says, “The AB Dynamics Group has been automating vehicles in some fashion for development and test reasons for decades. “Now, the mining industry can take advantage of this experience to automate their existing fleets through ABD Solutions and the creation of Indigo Drive.”
The world’s well-known construction machinery trade show, Bauma, will be held in Munich, Germany, from October 24 through 30, and ABD Solutions will be there.
About ABD Solutions
ABD Solutions makes it possible for the material handling, defence, mining, and agriculture industries to automate their current vehicle fleets quickly and affordably. It has access to a worldwide network of simulation, testing, and autonomy knowledge because it is a member of the AB Dynamics Group. Please visit www.abdsolutions.com for additional details.