Rio Tinto, which already operates 71 self-driving trucks, is now testing autonomous trains, set for commissioning by late 2018. It will be interesting to see if any other operator in the world will adopt this technology and why it hasn't yet.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive 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.”
Rio Tinto’s focus on automation technology and innovation is improving safety, is better for the environment and boosting productivity.
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