While it was clear at MINEXPO 2021 that the major mining industry OEMs have an aggressive roadmap for digital transformation, we talked to a lot of people who are trying to work out the best way of integrating the latest computer vision and vehicle safety technologies in their equipment right now.
It was to meet what we predicted would be a growing need for retrofitting older vehicles that we originally initiated the development of our VIA Mobile360 family of vehicle safety systems over five years ago. To start with, we focused on leveraging over twenty years of graphics chip design experience and expertise to create SVS (Surround View System) technology for real-time 360-degree video capture, rendering, and recording applications that make it easier for operators to see everything that’s happening around their massive vehicles.
Although we received a lot of interest in our first VIA Mobile360 SVS system, we soon realized that our SVS technology wasn’t in itself enough to meet customer requirements. As the next step, therefore, we focused on adding DMOD (Dynamic Moving Objection Detection) capabilities to the system, so that it could automatically alert an operator whenever a person or other vehicle came too close to the vehicle.
To ensure that the system could detect people or objects in all weather and lighting conditions, we also integrated support for 77GHz mmWave radar and ultrasonic sensors using a process called sensor fusion. The culmination of these ongoing R&D efforts is the VIA Mobile360 Heavy Equipment Safety System that we unveiled at MINEXPO.
Although we have been greatly encouraged by the response we received to the system at the show, we are keenly aware that the launch of the system marks just the start of the rollout process. Now’s the time to hit the ground running as we move on to the next stage of installing the system on the vehicles of our customers and optimizing it to meet their specific installation and operational needs.
Written by Richard Brown, Vice-President of International Marketing at VIA.