Wenco, Oxbotica Partner On Open Autonomy Solution For Mining

By Chad Elmore11 June 2020

Wenco International Mining Systems Ltd. and Oxbotica Ltd. have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop what the two companies have called a world-first open autonomy solution for mining. Initial trials are under way, and the companies said they are actively recruiting mining partners with appropriate testing grounds.

The system is expected to provide customers flexibility and efficiency in autonomous mining deployment, allowing them to operate any open standard-based vehicle and integrate it into their existing fleet. It will help meet growing demand with the number of autonomous haulage trucks around the world expected to grow by more than 300% by 20231.

A wholly owned subsidiary company of Hitachi Construction Machinery, Wenco said it has 30 years worth of experience in developing technology solutions that assist mining companies in maximizing resource value from their operations.

“We are very excited to be collaborating with Oxbotica,” said Andrew Pyne, Wenco President and CEO, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. “We are confident that combining Oxbotica’s proven capability in autonomy with our three decades worth of experience in interoperable fleet management systems for large mining customers enables us to create the industry’s first full-function open autonomy platform.”

Oxbotica was founded in 2014 by professors at the University of Oxford to develop an autonomy software platform that would enable the faster deployment of industry-specific applications.

“This collaboration with Wenco is a major milestone for Oxbotica,” said Ozgur Tohumcu, CEO of Oxbotica in Oxford, England. “Wenco’s industry experience in mining and their vision for open autonomy make this partnership extremely valuable for us and provides a great synergy with our own vision of universal autonomy – where any vehicle, in any environment, can understand where it is, what’s around it and what it should do next.”

For a system to be classed as an open system, it must meet four key elements: be fully defined so different parties can work within the same framework, be stable, be published and be unable to be controlled by a single party.

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