Can you see through walls?
What if there was an underground radar?
Can you see through walls? Probably not! Even experienced drivers in a mine do sometimes forget about announcing their way using the radio communication while driving. The result can be everything from an unnecessary slowdown of the traffic flow, a traffic congestion or even an accident.
Traffic congestions is one of the biggest time thieves in a modern underground mine. Even as there are bays to park in and let someone pass by, it is difficult to know if there is anyone coming my way. Additionally, if I do know about an incoming machine or vehicle, it is still a possibility that the parking spot I am planning to use is already occupied by another vehicle. Simply put, using the radio to avoid traffic congestions is not a perfect solution.
Can you see through walls?
A traditional approach to solve this is to create an advanced Traffic Management solution where traffic lights would be controlled in order to manage the traffic. Solutions like this is expensive to build and deploy. Luckily, these problems can now easily be mitigated with the advent of a new revolutionary product called Mobilaris Onboard™ using the pat pending Mobilaris Hybrid Positioning™ technology.
With the advent of Mobilaris Onboard™ mounted inside a vehicle, you will get a virtual “radar” that warns you about any vehicles coming your way. As the Mobilaris Onboard™ knows about all assets in the mine and who is moving and in what direction together with its own location and direction with an accuracy of 5-10 meters, we can create an early warning before a potential traffic situation. This enables you to sort out the situation before it will turn into a problem.
We call this new feature, Traffic Awareness. We are confident that Traffic Awareness will solve the majority of your traffic congestion issues without any additional infrastructures for high precision positioning or traffic management solutions. The theory is simple but powerful, if two vehicles meet and both drivers sees each other, they will directly know who should give way to whom.
Investigations have shown that traffic slowdown in ramps and other areas with dense traffic, is the biggest reason for time wasted that will decrease productivity.
From a recent study at a Canadian mine, a truck round trip from stope to rock breaker averaged 20 min, as small as 10 min, and as large as 50 min. The large variation in ramp time could be attributed to in part, congestion on the ramp and/or rock breaker. By reducing the longest round trip from 50 min to say 35 min (but not changing the average), an extra 3-4 trips could be possible per shift. This would be facilitated by On-Board to keep ramps and haulage ways clear for priority truck traffic. Queuing time at the rock breaker could also be reduced as truck travel time becomes more repeatable.
In additions to the big productivity gains that Traffic Awareness enables, the effects on safety is huge. Traffic Awareness is not the same thing as a Collision Awareness system (CAS). Instead it gives drivers the needed awareness and a very early warning that something is coming their way. It will not replace CAS or Proximity Detection Systems (PDS) but instead work as a very important complementary “long range” system.
The Traffic Awareness feature of Mobilaris Onboard™ is a cost-efficient key function to increase the flow of traffic in underground mines without having to invest in a costly high-precision tracking solution.
Expect more to come!
Mobilaris OnboardTM – customer case