A Road Less Travelled

It has been a long time since autonomous vehicles have rolled out of the realm of science fiction and into our streets under the banners of Tesla, Waymo and other big names that have been pushing the borders of technology for the automobile industry.

Their presence is growing both in the streets and on the global market, making this the cue for supporters of innovation to pitch in and provide these initiatives with the kind of support that could change the game.

And, if you count yourself amongst the ranks of such innovators, there might be no better place to look than WA. Why?

Well, let’s have a look.

A History of Innovation

While most of us might have only become aware of autonomous vehicles in the 2020s, in WA both the government and the private sector have been making moves towards self-driving and self-operating technology for the last two decades.

A great example of this is Rio Tinto’s mine of the future which has been pioneering the field of remote and autonomous mining technology since 2008 and has been responsible for some of its biggest technological leaps.

In 2015, Rio Tinto’s Yandicoogina and Nammuldi mines in the Pilbara became the first mines in the world to move all their ore using driverless haul trucks, a technology the rest of the world is only now catching up to.

Autonomous Public Transport

However, Innovation is not only in the state’s past.

In 2021, a group of students from UWA made the news for developing the hardware and software that would be able to control an autonomous bus, a technology that could easily revolutionise public transportation.

And they are not the only ones.

In 2019 RAC WA launched the second driverless bus experience, with more experiments meaning that a fully automated public transportation system is not a matter of “if”, but “when”.

In fact, the western Australian government is currently accepting applications for trials with automated vehicles this very moment, and it’s only a matter of time before an enterprise is picked.

Who to Support?

So, if you want to be a part of the region’s future, here are some companies to pay attention to:

Nexxis: Although their work goes somewhat beyond automation, it is undeniable that Nexxis is one of the most promising tech start-ups in WA, especially now, after their established partnership with Blueprint Labs.

Auto-Mate: A company focused almost exclusively in delivering automated mining equipment to resource operations across Australia and abroad. What’s so interesting about them is that instead of just replacing your manual assets, they implement automation tech to what you already have.

Blueprint Labs: Blueprint Labs’ specialty is robotic arm solutions that work for both land and sea, which means they are constantly working with automation initiatives and can often be found at the forefront of innovation.

All Roads Lead to WA

Even if the degree to which automation is going to participate in our future day-to-day life is still up for debate, it is becoming increasingly undeniable that it is going to be a part of it, even if not everyone might want to use them.

Of course, just because this field has been making steady progress, especially in regions like WA, it is undeniable that this road still has its fair share of bumps, which will require the effort of thousands of professionals to overcome.

And, if we are to see an automated future, these specialists are going to need all the support they can get, so why not go where they are?

If you are looking to make a smart investment with long term benefits, the automation industry in WA is where you want to be.