ASI unveil new autonomous vehicle test facility

Autonomous Solutions, Inc (ASI) has announced the completion of a facilities expansion involving its unmanned vehicle test track.

The expansion include a tripling of the test tracks and creation of more realistic urban scenarios with the needed signage and road striping to develop and test new driverless vehicle algorithms.

“We have built into our facility all of these different environments to enable rapid development and rigorous 24/7 product verification and validation testing,” Mel Torrie, ASI’s Co-Founder and CEO, said.

The expansion comes on the back of increased forces on autonomous vehicle safety.

The Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum have launched the world's first autonomous mining safety codes after a serious collision event at BHP’s Jimblebar Iron ore mine last year.

The incident marked one of the first collision accidents involving an unmanned vehicle.

According to the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum, “the control room operator had programed the autonomous truck to turn right, the water cart driver was not aware of the autonomous truck’s pre-assigned path tried – on recognising it – tried to take evasive action”.

As a result of the accident at Jimblebar, the Western Australian Department of Mines and Peroleum went on to call for the elimination, or at the very least mitigation, of manned activities within autonomous mining areas. 

"No technology is 100 per cent, and it's unrealistic to expect it to be," Toby Walsh, a professor in artificial intelligence at the University of New South Wales, and NICTA, told Australian Mining.

 "However it is worth pointing out that when it comes to incidents between fully autonomous and manned – most accidents are associated with human error," Walsh said. 

The incident has called for greater training of workers in their interactions with autonomous vehicles.

ASI is currently automating testing for three of the five big automotive companies in Detroit and is expanding into Europe and Chin, with partnerships starting in January

“This facility expansion not only allows us to do more testing, but also provides more office space for the quickly growing engineering team,” says Torrie.

Other markets like mining, agriculture, and construction leverage the same underlying robotics platform foundation but have different “apps” that are customised to the unique needs of each.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.