The nearly 100 kilometer Rio Tinto’s pilot run in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, was completed without a driver on board, making it the first fully autonomous heavy haul train journey ever completed in the Continent.
The journey was completed safely, being closely monitored in real-time by Rio Tinto teams and representatives of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, both on the ground and at the Operations Center in Perth.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore CEO Chris Salisbury said:
“This successful pilot run puts us firmly on track to meet our goal of operating the world’s first fully-autonomous heavy haul, long distance rail network, which will unlock significant safety and productivity benefits for the business.
Gains from AutoHaul® are already being realised including reduced variability and increased speed across the network, helping to reduce average cycle times.
Rio Tinto is proud to be a leader in innovation and autonomous technology in the global mining industry which is delivering long-term competitive advantages as we build the mines of the future. New roles are being created to manage our future operations and we are preparing our current workforce for new ways of working to ensure they remain part of our industry.”