Autonomous train completes first journey across Australian Outback
Just like freight trucking, mining operations where trains haul heavy loads along the same route seem a high-potential application for autonomous vehicle technologies. Mining giant Rio Tinto has been busy exploring these possibilities in the Australian Outback and has now completed the nation's first autonomous heavy haul rail journey as it looks for more efficient ways to move iron ore around the country.
Rio Tinto's AutoHaul project has been underway since 2012 and is hoped to help the company expand its operations by allowing the trains hauling iron ore to largely control themselves. The company also has 69 autonomous haulage trucks in operation at its mine sites in the Pilbara, a remote region of north-western Australia.