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Driverless Trucks move iron ore in Western Australia


Tree Hugger Member
Jul 29, 2013
Driverless trucks move all iron ore at Rio Tinto's Pilbara mines, in world first


Rio Tinto is operating a fleet of 69 driverless trucks across its Yandicoogina, Nammuldi and Hope Downs mine sites in Western Australia.


What we have done is map out our entire mine and put that into a system and the system then works out how to manoeuvre the trucks through the mine.

There is a bit more info on driverless truck technology in a related article, Robotic trucks taking over Pilbara mining operations in shift to automation

The main benefit of driverless trucks is improved safety on the mines. There are other benefits:

So, there is obvious capital savings, in terms of setting up camps, flying people to site, there is less people so there is less operating costs, but there are some costs that come into running the system and maintenance of the system as well

Rio is trialling unmanned trains and mining with robot drills.

Rio plans to fully automate its trains by the middle of next year once the Office of Rail Safety includes the technology in its safety guidelines

The goal is to remotely control most of the company's supply chain from the pit to the port, from control rooms located in Perth.

BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals are also trialling autonomous operations at their Pilbara mines.

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