Mining Project: Validating Collision Warning and Avoidance System Detection Performance for Surface Mining Haul Trucks

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Principal Investigators
Start Date 10/1/2020
End Date 9/30/2023

To develop methods and guidance for validating collision warning and avoidance system (CXS) detection performance for surface mining haul trucks.

Topic Area

Research Summary

Historically, haul-truck-related accidents are among the most common causes of traumatic injuries and fatalities at surface operations in the United States mining industry. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), powered haulage accidents continue to be among the most common causes of traumatic injuries and fatalities in surface mining. Many of these accidents occur when a haul truck collides with another smaller vehicle or encounters an environmental hazard, such as backing over a dump point or overrunning a berm.

For haul trucks used at surface mining operations, CXS are commercially available from aftermarket integrators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). These technological solutions offer the potential for further preventing such accidents. However, limited scientific studies are published on validation testing and how these types of systems actually perform in application. False or “nuisance” alarms are possible, and frequent false alarms can lead to operator complacency, lessening their effectiveness. This raises concern with respect to the technological readiness and application-specific suitability of CXS implementations to perform reliably and help to ensure safe work practices.

This project research was designed to provide guidance on methods and parameters for addressing the above issues through its focus on validating CXS detection performance. Validation procedures have been developed in terms of collision and non-collision scenarios, as both are significant to determining the efficacy of CXS detection performance. Collision scenarios were tested for assessing situations where an alert or evasive action is expected to occur, while non-collision scenarios were studied for situations where a CXS is expected to refrain from providing a false “nuisance” alert or taking unintended, potentially harmful, evasive action. To assess detection performance in terms of these two base scenarios, select collision detection technologies/systems were investigated in laboratory, reduced-scale, and full-scale field tests. Simulations were used to further assess and develop the identified methods and associated parameters.

NIOSH research findings are referenced in numerous MSHA regulations and specifically cited in rulemaking for the requirement of proximity detection systems in underground coal mines. Leveraging NIOSH guidance and research, the mining industry has embraced emerging technologies, leading to the development of commercially available systems. Similar positive impacts are expected from this project's research, ultimately reducing injuries and fatalities associated with surface mining haul truck accidents. The test methods, collaborations, and guidance developed in this project could guide future research, support efforts to validate CXS, and advance autonomous haulage.

Related NIOSH Work

Characterization of Haul Truck Health and Safety Issues

Mine Automation and Emerging Technologies Health and Safety Partnership

Proximity Detection Partnership

Page last reviewed: December 28, 2023
Page last updated: December 28, 2023