Australia's Immersive Technologies says Canadian oil sands miner Suncor, the first company in the country to deploy autonomous trucks in an openpit mine, has taken operators out of trucks. But its personnel would continue to work "within the autonomous area" and the workers had to be trained to interact with autonomous vehicles safely but efficiently.
It says its simulators are "a key part of the training for this unique environment".
Immersive's dedicated autonomous systems product manager, Ravitha Sukumaran says training and autonomous-fleet integration with people has been seen clearly as "a major hurdle to the successful implementation of any AHS (autonomous haulage system)".
"Mining personnel are required to think and work differently, often with more complex job tasks, to ensure the safe and productive operation of an AHS. AHS training requires thorough procedural training with a number of what-if scenarios and simulation is the ideal tool to train operators to effectively interact with the autonomous machines in a safe and efficient manner," Ravitha said.
Suncor has bought three of Immersive's LX3 Simulators to cut in-field training, ensure mine workers can be trained and assessed consistently, and mitigate risks to people and equipment.