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

Principal Investigator
Start Date 10/1/2020

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 will provide guidance on methods and parameters for addressing these issues through its focus on validating CXS detection performance. This critical guidance will serve to determine and improve system efficacy. To achieve this goal, this project has two research aims, which will be undertaken as follows:

  1. Develop procedures for validating the detection performance of collision warning and avoidance systems for surface mining haul trucks. The methodology for this research aim will classify parameters and develop test methods for determining robust and effective CXS detection performance. Validation procedures will be developed in terms of collision and non-collision scenarios, as both are significant to determining the efficacy of CXS detection performance. Collision scenarios will be used to assess situations where an alert or evasive action is expected to occur, while non-collision scenarios will focus on 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 will be used in conducting laboratory and reduced-scale field tests. Dynamic simulations and analytical modeling will be used to further assess and develop the identified methods and associated parameters.
  2. Develop guidance on validating the detection performance of collision warning and avoidance systems for surface mining haul trucks. Members of committees and organizations working to formulate guidelines and standards for mining and powered equipment will be consulted and involved within ongoing collaborations, meetings, and workshops. A commercially available CXS will be employed as part of a limited number of reduced-scale and full-scale tests, in which a CXS will be installed on a representative or actual haul truck in the field. Researchers will select collision and non-collision scenarios that represent a diversity of evaluation conditions for testing, and respective measurements and uncertainties will be used for assessment of the methods and their translation to the field.

NIOSH research findings are referenced in numerous MSHA regulations and specifically cited in rulemaking for the requirement of proximity detection systems in underground coal. Using NIOSH guidance and research, the mining industry has adopted emerging technologies and developed commercially available systems. Analogous types of impact are anticipated from this project research, ultimately reducing disability and death associated with surface mining haul truck accidents. Test methods, collaborations, and guidance developed from this project will help direct future research, support efforts for validating CXS, and advance autonomous haulage. Potentially, this research will play a vital role in support of MSHA’s rulemaking process and contribute to the improvement of CXS.

Related NIOSH Work

2019 Review of the Mining Program

Characterization of Haul Truck Health and Safety Issues

Mine Automation and Emerging Technologies Health and Safety Partnership

Proximity Detection Partnership

Page last reviewed: December 23, 2022
Page last updated: September 18, 2020