CASLast month, drone multicopters. This week, vehicle safety. Hexagon continues to push the envelope on our definition of precision measurement technology, taking it in unexpected directions — like collision avoidance in mines.

SAFEmine started six years ago, developing ideas originally used in aviation to make open-pit mining safer.  Mine safety is important, of course, but one can also see broader applicability, in long-haul trucking, bus lines, and delivery vehicle fleets.

SAFEmine’s broadly applicable solutions includes traffic awareness and collision avoidance; fleet tracking and reporting; and a SafetyCentre application that integrates collision avoidance, radar and camera feeds on a single monitor. More mine-specific is ShovelAssist, which aims to avoid incidents between shovels and other vehicles.

SAFEmine says that its solutions protect over 18,000 vehicles in 45 mines worldwide. Infomine, which covers mining activity around the world, has data showing that there are at least 125 operating open-pit mines, extracting everything from diamonds to gold to oil. With Hexagon’s bigger reach (and presence in oil, for example) the potential for growth in mining is enormous. The company’s founders say that joining Hexagon is “the logical next step in the development of SAFEmine, giving us the flexibility to grow, expand, and to intensify customer contacts. … Nothing will change for … our customers, employees and partners. … SAFEmine will become part of the Hexagon’s Mining Division but remain autonomous, operate independently and provide the same services by the same people, led by the original founders.”

Hexagon is clearly thinking beyond mining. Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén said in a press release that “SAFEmine’s strong presence and technology leadership not only open doors to cross-sell complementary Hexagon offerings to the same market, but create integration opportunities across multiple businesses within Hexagon.”

Hexagon says that the acquisition has no significant impact on Hexagon’s earnings and that SAFEmine’s sales in 2013 were approximately €13 million.

Image of the SAFEmine CAS system courtesy of SAFEmine.