Mar 3, 2021

Volvo Autonomous Solutions partners with Foretellix

Volvo
Foretellix
Autonomous Vehicles
Analytics
Daniel Brightmore
2 min
Volvo, Foretellix
Volvo Autonomous Solutions has teamed up with Foretellix to solve the verification challenge with autonomous solutions in confined areas, like mines...

Volvo Autonomous Solutions has formed a partnership with Foretellix to jointly create a Coverage Driven Verification solution for autonomous driving solutions operating on both public roads and in confined areas, such as mines.

The solution will enable massive scale testing of millions of different scenarios, which will validate autonomous vehicles and machines dealing with anything they might encounter within their specified Operational Design Domain (ODD).

The partnership will focus on providing high levels of safety and productivity of Volvo Autonomous Solution vehicles and machines. The ability of the solution to orchestrate large scale simulation and conduct the big data analysis required will lead to a substantial reduction in costs and time to market, ensuring faster operational readiness and the ability to safely scale up the system across multiple sites and ODDs.

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Intelligent automation and analytics tools

Foretellix is a pioneer in the commercialization of coverage-driven methodologies for automated driving systems verification. Foretellix developed a novel verification platform that uses intelligent automation and big data analytics tools that coordinate and monitor millions of driving scenarios, to expose bugs and edge cases, including the most extreme cases. Volvo Autonomous Solutions will jointly adapt Foretellix’s verification system for both highways and confined area applications, such as mines and quarries.

Volvo Autonomous Solutions and Foretellix will use the Open Measurable Scenario Description Language (M-SDL) created by Foretellix. M-SDL simplifies the capture, reuse and sharing of scenarios, and can specify any mix of scenarios and operating conditions, to identify previously unknown hazards.

“Volvo Autonomous Solutions believes in a collaborative verification concept, one that uses open standards,” said Magnus Liljeqvist, Global Technology Manager Volvo Autonomous Solutions. “The partnership with Foretellix gives us access to the state-of-the-art verification tools and accelerating our time to market.

“We are very proud to partner with Volvo Group,” added Ziv Binyamini, CEO and co-founder of Foretellix. “This partnership is a significant milestone for the industry as it is the first time that large scale Coverage Driven Verification will be used for verification of ADS in confined areas. Our partnership will combine the expertise of the two companies and set a new standard in the verification of automated driving systems, boosting both safety and productivity.” 

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Jun 16, 2021

Rio Tinto partners with ARENA for green hydrogen research

Rio Tinto
Hydrogen
Green Energy
Sustainability
3 min
Rio Tinto and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will study using hydrogen to reduce carbon emissions in alumina refining

Rio Tinto has partnered with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to study whether hydrogen can replace natural gas in alumina refineries to reduce emissions.

Rio Tinto and ARENA partnering for green energy push

Rio Tinto will conduct a $1.2mn feasibility study, equally funded with ARENA through a $580,000 grant, into using clean hydrogen to replace natural gas in the calcination process of refining at the Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone.

The study program includes work to be done at Rio Tinto’s Bundoora Technical Development Centre in Melbourne, where Rio Tinto’s in-house development capability has now been extended to hydrogen.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller commented: “If we can replace fossil fuels with clean hydrogen in the refining process for alumina, this will reduce emissions in the energy and emissions intensive refining stage of the aluminium supply chain. Exploring these new clean energy technologies and methods is a crucial step towards producing green aluminium.

“This study will investigate a potential technology that can contribute to the decarbonisation of the Australian alumina industry. If successful, the technical and commercial lessons from Rio Tinto’s study could lead to the implementation of hydrogen calcination technology, not only in Australia, but also internationally.”

Rio Tinto Aluminium Pacific Operations acting managing director Daniel van der Westhuizen added: “We see the ARENA and Rio Tinto-funded study as a step towards reducing refinery emissions and one that has the potential to play an important part in Rio Tinto’s commitment to decarbonisation.

“We’re investing in work that needs to be done, not only to decarbonise one of our sites, but also to help provide a lower-emissions pathway for Rio Tinto and the global aluminium industry.

“We recognise we are on a long road towards reducing emissions across our operations and there is clearly more work to be done. But projects such as this are an important part of helping us get there.”

Can hydrogen replace natural gas in alumina refineries?

The study comprises two distinct work packages:

  • Preliminary engineering and design study conducted to understand the construction and operational requirements of a potential demonstration project at the Yarwun alumina refinery.
  • Simulating the calcination process using a lab scale reactor at the Bundoora Technical Development Centre.

Once complete, the study will inform the viability of a potential demonstration project. Rio Tinto has lodged patents for the hydrogen calcination process.

Rio Tinto aiming for net zero by 2050

Rio Tinto is aiming to reach net zero emissions across its operations by 2050. Across the company, it is targeting a 15% reduction in absolute emissions and a 30% reduction in emissions intensity by 2030, from a 2018 baseline.

Aluminium is found in everything from cars to phones. But one of the challenges of producing this essential material responsibly is finding ways to decarbonise the process.

Part of the reason is creating alumina – the main ingredient in aluminium – takes a lot of energy, which in turn creates greenhouse gas emissions. New technologies will be essential to helping reduce emissions, but many haven’t been proven. And some not yet even discovered. Rio Tinto's transformation is being driven by innovation and its partnership with ARENA is a positive step towards these goals.

 

Rio Tinto Yarwun aerial

 

               

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