Revealed: the mining companies leading the way in autonomous vehicles
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Revealed: the mining companies leading the way in autonomous vehicles

By Nicu Calcea 16 Nov 2021

Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto are among the companies best positioned to take advantage of future autonomous vehicles disruption in the mining industry

Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto are among the companies best positioned to take advantage of future autonomous vehicles disruption in the mining industry, our analysis shows.

The assessment comes from GlobalData’s Thematic Research ecosystem, which ranks companies on a scale of one to five based on their likelihood to tackle challenges like autonomous vehicles and emerge as long-term winners of the mining sector.

According to our analysis, Fortescue Metals, Rio Tinto, BHP and First Quantum Minerals are the companies best positioned to benefit from investments in autonomous vehicles, all of them recording scores of five out of five in GlobalData’s Mining Thematic Scorecard.

Fortescue Metals, for example, has advertised for 43 new autonomous vehicles jobs from October 2020 to September 2021 and mentioned autonomous vehicles in company filings 15 times.

Rio Tinto indicated good levels of AI investment, with the company looking for 47 new autonomous vehicles jobs since October 2020 and mentioning autonomous vehicles in filings one time.

The table below shows how GlobalData analysts scored the biggest companies in the mining industry on their autonomous vehicles performance, as well as the number of new autonomous vehicles jobs, deals, patents and mentions in company reports since October 2020.

Higher numbers usually indicate that a company has spent more time and resources on improving its autonomous vehicles performance, or that autonomous vehicles is at least at the top of executives’ minds. However, it may not always mean that it is doing better than the competition.

A high number of mentions of autonomous vehicles in quarterly company filings could indicate either that the company is reaping the rewards of previous investments, or that it needs to invest more to catch up with the rest of the industry. Similarly, a high number of deals could indicate that a company is dominating the market, or that it is using mergers and acquisitions to fill in gaps in its offering.

Nevertheless, these trends are useful in showing us the extent to which top executives in the mining sector – and at specific organisations – think about autonomous vehicles, and the extent to which they stake their future on it.

This article is based on GlobalData research figures as of 10 November 2021. For more up-to-date figures, check the GlobalData website.