Functional Safety for Autonomous Equipment


Provide a unified industry understanding of the functional safety requirements for mobile autonomous equipment.


The project aims to not only clearly define what functional safety is for mobile autonomous equipment, but also identify who is responsible for it, create a collective view of minimum requirements, and present general guidance on testing and verifying it.

This project has three primary objectives:

1. Provide an industry platform for sharing lessons from near-misses and to manage functional safety

2. Develop guidelines for:

  • A common framework for managing functional safety
  • A cross-acceptance process for certification of systems or applications
  • Operators expectations, assurance documentation requirements, including for OEM’s to meet safety duty of care
  • A standard set of safety functions and parameters that would influence the safety integrity and performance requirements

3. Produce a white paper on the common purpose of the standards including their constraints

4. Produce a white paper on overall system safety 

The first guideline, A Guideline for Applying Functional Safety to Autonomous Mining Systems, is now in review.

Business Case

The mining industry is embracing automation, but mobile automation technologies are still in the early stages of technology development. As a result, there lacks clear guidance and industry alignment on requirements for managing functional safety because:

  • Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are at varying stages of maturity
  • Existing standards are not explicitly developed for automating mining equipment
  • Regulatory authorities do not provide specific guidance on the requirements

Overall, there is general confusion over which standards to follow, and this project will offer much-needed clarity and direction.

Participating Organizations

ABB, Airobotics, Alex Atkins & Associates, Ambuja Cements, AMOG Consulting, BHP, Cadia Valley Operations, Calibre Global, Canadian Natural Resources, Canary HLE, Caterpillar, CITIC Pacific Mining, CSA Group, Edge Case Research, Epiroc, Finning, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), Gold Fields, Government of Alberta, Haultrax, Hitachi, Imperial Oil, JDS Mining and Energy, JVA, KMC Mining, Komatsu, Laing O’Rourke, Liebherr, Maclean Engineering, Marcus Punch Pty., METS Ignited, Minetec, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Ministry of Labour, Modular Mining Systems, Newmont, NIOSH, Ontario Ministry of Labour, Phoenix Contact, Proudfoot, RCT, Riivos, Rio Tinto, Rock-Tech, Sandvik, SAP Asia, Scania, Schneider Electric, Seyo, SMS Equipment, Stantec, Suncor, Symbiotic Innovations, Syncrude, Teck, Whitehaven Coal

Project Updates

New sub-project on overall system safety


This project aims to build open and curated data sets to enhance the ability to build meaningful solutions and improve benchmarking and research by offering an alternative to proprietary data. Read more...

Workshop update: Perth

Content development is well underway


The Functional Safety for Autonomous Equipment Project group held a productive workshop in Perth, Australia on February 18. Operators, suppliers and subject matter experts came together to develop valuable material for the Functional Safety for Autonomous Equipment guideline. Read more...

GMG Functional Safety project wins Mining Magazine 2018 Safety Award

Early recognition of this project is promising


We are excited to announce that GMG won Mining Magazine’s 2018 Safety Award for the Autonomous Mining Working Group’s Functional Safety for Autonomous Equipment Project. Read more...

Upcoming workshop in Perth, Australia - February 18

Finalizing the table of contents and begin to develop guideline content


The project group has completed a draft of the table of contents. During this workshop, participants will be working to further outline the content of the guideline and launch the development of its content. Read more...

Upcoming workshop in Edmonton, Canada - March 26

Developing guideline content


Participants will add to work that’s been done online and in the previous workshops to advance the guideline project. Read more...