Not so autonomous: Wifi outage results in driverless truck crash at Fortescue mine
Iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) revealed Friday that one of its massive driverless trucks collided with another at one of its Western Australia mines earlier this week. There were no injuries.
The truck, said the company, was traveling at low speed and crashed into another that was parked at its Christmas Creek iron ore mine in the Pilbara region.
Chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said the incident was not the result of any failure of Fortescue’s autonomous haulage systems (AHS).
“Since the introduction of the first AHS truck at Solomon in 2012, AHS trucks have safely travelled over 24.7 million kilometres,” Gaines said in a statement.
It’s believed the collision occurred after wi-fi coverage, which provides communications between the truck and Fortescue’s control centre, dropped out.
The miner has been converting its extensive fleet of huge mining trucks into autonomous vehicles over the past several years.
Fortescue, the world’s No. 4 iron ore producer, is conducting a full investigation into the incident.