Metal supply and mining giant Rio Tinto has made progress in developing AutoHaul®, the world’s first fully-autonomous heavy haul, long distance railway system.
A 100 km pilot run, without the services of a driver, was completed at the company’s iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Rio Tinto has successfully completed the first fully autonomous rail journey at its iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as the company progresses toward full commissioning of the AutoHaul® project in late 2018. The run was 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 Centre in Perth.
The company currently operates around 200 locomotives on more than 1,700 km of track in the Pilbara, transporting ore from 16 mines to four port terminals. Trains started running in autonomous mode in the first quarter of 2017. Currently about 50 per cent of pooled fleet rail km are completed in autonomous mode (with drivers on-board) and 90 percent of pooled fleet production tons are AutoHaul® enhanced.
Full commissioning of the AutoHaul® project is slated for late 2018.