More than 200 mining vehicles in service at Oyu Tolgoi are being fitted with Cohda’s on-board units, which connect vehicles to each other and to roadside units installed in mine tunnels.

Cohda Wireless, headquartered in Australia, is applying its vehicle positioning solution to the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.

The company’s V2X (Vehicle-To-Everything) technology connects vehicles with each other and with roadside infrastructure to create what it describes as a cooperative and intelligent transport environment.

According to the company, which also has offices in Europe, the United States and China, the V2X technology was initially developed to solve vehicle positioning accuracy challenges inherent in the urban canyons of cities where large buildings, underground carparks and tunnels interfere with GNSS signals. Using DSRC (dedicated short-range communication) signals, Cohda’s enhanced signal processing and positioning algorithms are claimed to provide highly accurate vehicle position irrespective of GNSS availability and/or quality and are therefore suited to mining environments.

Russell Kennett, manager-underground technology at Oyu Tolgoi, said Cohda’s technology has now been adapted to serve a mining environment for the first time. “Cohda’s V2X-Locate allows all equipped mobile fleet, fixed plant and personnel to be reliably tracked in real time to sub-meter accuracy in a GNSS-denied environment, to prevent incidents and assist in emergency evacuations, and to enable traffic management and schedule optimization,” Kennett said.

Cohda Wireless CEO Dr. Paul Gray said, “The system can integrate and manage location data from multiple sensor types with sub-meter accuracy throughout the mine site and is a significant improvement on using a combination of disparate collision avoidance systems across the mining environment, as is usually the case.

“When you have hundreds of vehicles and personnel operating in close proximity underground, a meter matters. And while the prevention of injury and death is always the top priority, we also know that the ability to visualize, optimize and monitor vehicles brings significant operational benefits and efficiencies,” Gray added.

At Oyu Tolgoi, more than 200 mining vehicles of all types are being fitted with Cohda’s XBU-V specially adapted on-board units, which connect vehicles to each other and to XBU-I road-side units installed in mine tunnels. More than 2,000 workers will use V2X-Locate compatible cap lamps so the collective system can use Time-of-Flight analysis of wireless signals to resolve spatial locations. Mining vehicles are fitted with a human-machine interface that will warn operators of potential collisions by enabling superior awareness and reaction. The system supports EMESRT Level 7 (Alert) and partial Level 8 (Advise) controls with full Level 8 controls and Level 9 (Intervention) controls on the Cohda product roadmap.

Russell Kennett also believes that this deployment could be instrumental in adopting an industry peer-to-peer comms and location standard.

“This project allows us to benefit from a highly tested, future-proofed, automotive-level safety technology that has proven reliability, scalability and robustness,” explained Kennett. “This potentially opens the door for the introduction of mine-wide peer-to-peer V2X networks that OEMs and vendors can integrate into their products to ensure interoperability regardless of the setting,” he continued.