Mining company Fortescue Metals Group has announced plans to establish a centre that will look at opportunities to apply autonomous mobility technology in an urban environment.
The Fortescue Future of Mobility Centre, to be based in Karratha, Western Australia, will work in partnership with the local community, the City of Karratha and technology and research partners to draw on the group’s experience using autonomous technology across its operations.
“We are at the forefront of this technology with our mine operations set to become the first in the world to be fully autonomous and our fleet having safely travelled over 26 million kilometres since the first autonomous truck was introduced in 2012,” said Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines.
“We are now building on our autonomous capability with the commencement of an autonomous light vehicle trial, at our Christmas Creek mine.
“The emergence of autonomy is one aspect in which our world is changing rapidly, and we intend to be part of the opportunities that it will represent for the mining industry, local communities such as Karratha, and beyond,” said Ms Gaines.
“By establishing the Fortescue Future of Mobility Centre in Karratha we will have the ability to develop, test and trial this technology, further contributing to Western Australia’s position as a world leading autonomous hub.
“We’ll be exploring all facets of the future of mobility including software, hardware and various forms of mobility solutions, to see where the opportunities lie.”
The new project was welcomed by City of Karratha Mayor, Peter Long, who said: “I’m delighted that of all the potential locations around Australia, Fortescue has selected Karratha as its base to develop this exciting and innovative new technology.”