The importance of technology in the oil and gas industry continues to evolve with the successful completion of BP’s “driver-less car”. The supermajor’s trial was conducted in Lingen, Germany. The driverless vehicle implemented software developed by a UK based company, Oxbotica – founded by two researchers from the University of Oxford in 2014.
BP’s trial at the Lingen refinery oversaw the vehicle successfully navigate a variety of terrain which include narrow paths, busy junctions and railway crossings over a distance of 180 kilometres.
The energy giant is scheduled to release its first “driver-less car” for monitory operations at the refinery by the end of 2021. The autonomous vehicle will be equipped with advanced analytics to improve safety by performing ‘round-the-clock’ monitoring of faulty equipment, irregularities and safety hazards.
The Oxbotica software was developed without being reliant on GPS, third-party mapping and other external infrastructures, allowing flexibility in deployment – It can be used in a variety of vehicles across multiple industries.
With $47 million raised in a funding round led by BP Ventures, Oxbotica successfully acquired a $13 million equity stake. Ozgur Tohumcu, chief executive at Oxbotica, announced that the trial in Lingen exhibited improved safety benefits, reduced emissions and increased productivity. He further mentioned that the investment “will allow us to scale our autonomous software platform across the energy ecosystem with several planned use cases and unlock the true power of universal autonomy.”
Engineering safety is crucial in heavy industries such as BP. The UK supermajor has made steady progress over the years thanks to their investments in technology and digitalisation. This has brought upon major improvements in different areas of production, manufacturing, business processes and safety.
Similarly, for those of us at SynergenOG, Digital Transformation is not an unfamiliar concept. We believe that the bridge between humans and machines have long existed. The only question being how are we utilising it to help and benefit humankind?
Even prior to the pandemic eruption, we acknowledge that technology has had a profound impact on the way we work. This futuristic insight is what has helped us shift seamlessly towards remote working with agility and haste. Our core services, on the other hand, encompass process safety review, technical risk, operational safety and loss prevention. As with the rest of the world, we have been collaborating remotely; conducting workshops and other technical services via various platforms and tools.
Ultimately, it’s the mindset of both leaders and their team to take upon the challenge to change and move forward or risk being left behind.
We are an engineering and consultancy company based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Our expertise lies in Process Safety, Technical Risk, Loss Prevention and Operational Safety assessments and services.