Rio Tinto deploys first heavy-haul, lengthy distance autonomous rail operation; 800 km

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Rio Tinto has efficiently deployed AutoHaul, establishing the world’s largest robotic and first automated heavy-haul, lengthy distance rail community. (Earlier publish.) The typical return distance of those trains is about 800 kilometers with the common journey cycle, together with loading and dumping, taking about 40 hours.


Since finishing the primary loaded run in July, Rio Tinto has steadily elevated the variety of autonomous journeys throughout its world-class iron ore operations in Western Australia in a managed and protected method, with greater than 1 million kilometers now travelled autonomously.

The protected and profitable deployment of AutoHaul throughout our community is a powerful reflection of the pioneering spirit inside Rio Tinto. It’s been a difficult journey to automate a rail community of this measurement and scale in a distant location just like the Pilbara, however early outcomes point out vital potential to enhance productiveness, offering elevated system flexibility and lowering bottlenecks.

Over the approaching months we are going to proceed to refine our autonomous operations to make sure we’re capable of maximize worth. We proceed to work intently with drivers throughout this era and don’t anticipate to make any redundancies in 2019 because of the deployment of AutoHaul.

—Rio Tinto Iron Ore managing director Rail, Port & Core Providers Ivan Vella

The $940-million AutoHaul program is concentrated on automating trains transporting iron ore to Rio Tinto’s port amenities within the Pilbara area of Western Australia. The community is the world’s first heavy-haul, lengthy distance autonomous rail operation.

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Rio Tinto operates about 200 locomotives on greater than 1,700 kilometers of monitor within the Pilbara, transporting ore from 16 mines to 4 port terminals.


Locomotives carrying AutoHaul software program are fitted with on-board cameras permitting for fixed monitoring from the Operations Heart. All public rail crossings on the community are fitted with CCTV cameras and have been upgraded to the very best security requirements.


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