The advent of advanced data analytics, artificial Intelligence (AI) and increased connectivity through the Internet of Things (IoT) are key drivers of the digital revolution in the mining sector. But more importantly, the practical application and operational improvements are a welcome benefit – and nowhere is this more apparent than in health and safety.
The Australian mining industry has one of the highest fatality and injury rates of any industry. In fact, according to Safe Work Australia’s latest statistics, at least of 2,808 working days per year are lost due to injuries alone. This makes it easy to see why mining companies have adapted to digital transformation in more than one operational area. There’s an urgency to ensure mine site safety and maintain regulatory compliance which has resulted in a need for mining companies to become more proactive in managing daily operations to mitigate risk.
Is AI the future of fleet safety?
Thanks to AI, mining fleets can improve the accuracy of telematics-derived data related to driver behaviour, asset tracking, and overall fleet operations which, in turn, can improve site safety, fleet safety, productivity and cost-efficiency. The use of AI provides a deeper analysis of fleet operations as well as more accurate and specific predictions than have been seen before.
What’s more, video telematics is increasingly being used in combination with AI technology to help provide visual context in events such as on-site accidents. AI-powered video eliminates the time-consuming task of sifting through hours of footage to find the precise event a fleet manager needs to review and makes any video snippet available in near real-time. The technology has garnered a significant reputation for its ability to increase safety and efficiency within fleets.
How AI-powered video helps operators solve challenges
AI-powered video telematics works by using algorithms that monitor for specific events (such as fatigue, driver distraction, seat belt usage and more) in real-time with the help of both road-facing and driver-facing in-cab cameras. Additional cameras can also be fitted on external parts of the vehicles to monitor theft or misuse.
One of the companies at the forefront of this technology is Australian firm MiX Telematics. Brodie von Berg, VP for operations at the company, told Mining Technology that AI powered video helps the mining industry in a variety of ways.
“AI is becoming a growing part of telematics solutions and its use is helping to create smart mines with a future of greater safety. In turn, action plans can be implemented to train drivers on how to avoid safety hazards, allowing for improvement to take place on a continuous basis for long-term results.
“Considering the massive impact of 2,808 days of loss across the industry, perhaps it’s time more firms looked into how digital transformation and AI in particular can boost profitability, increase safety and result in less downtime.”