Robot trucks are coming to Northwestern Ontario in 2021
Nawiinginokiima Forest Management Corporation says it plans to use a pair autonomous logging trucks, led by an experienced driver in a third vehicle, on logging roads, to bring felled trees to nearby mills in the Pic and White River Forests, in partnership with Provectus Robotics Solutions Inc. Testing is expected to begin immediately and will be conducted throughout the spring and summer.
“Bringing the advanced technology that has been developed for off-road applications in extreme climates from desert heat to ice and snow, has enabled us to bring a robust and viable solution to the logging industry,” said Jason Scheib, director, business development for Provectus Robotics Solutions, in a recent release.
“We believe this will be a valuable advancement to address the driver shortage in Northern Ontario and around the world, while making the transport of lumber to the mills safer and more efficient.”
NFMC manages about 1.5 million hectares of Crown Forest in the vicinity of Pic River and Pic Mobert First Nations, and Hornepayne, Ont., supplying wood to major mills in the area. General manager Carmelo Notabartolo said his organization is the only Crown corporation of its kind in Ontario and has been tasked to seek out innovative solutions in the forest industry. Autonomous logging trucks fit the bill perfectly, he said.
“When we were created, part of the vision was that NFMC would be a leader in bringing new technologies to the forest industry and provide opportunities to pilot these technologies on our management area. Today we are proud to announce our partnership with Provectus Robotics Solutions, with the assistance of CRIBE, that will enable us to begin testing new autonomous trucking technology in our forests with the ultimate goal of assisting the forest industry in this very competitive global sector,” Notarbartolo said.