Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has announces its first successful entirely unmanned train haulage. Paving the way for a fully-autonomous fleet by 2018.
Mining corporation Rio Tinto may have just delivered the world’s first fully-autonomous train. As part of the AutoHaul Project, this system is currently in operation in Western Australia. Rio Tinto, which also developed the train, announced that the train had successfully completed its first unmanned mission, traveling nearly 100 kilometers (62 miles) without a person on board.
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“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.” said Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Chris Salisbury.
This is a significant milestone in the companies plan to have fully autonomous trains. This plan is set to give Rio Tinto a fully autonomous train network by late 2018, but will have to meet Australia’s safety and necessary regulatory approvals.