Rio Tinto’s AutoHaul network is officially up and running in Australia, making it the world’s first automated long distance, heavy haul rail network.
The mining giant, which has its headquarters in London, had completed its first successful automated run with a load in July. According to reports, they have been gradually increasing the number of autonomous trips since then. The average journey takes around 40 hours. The program was proposed ten years ago and is estimated to have cost about $940 million.
Rio Tinto operates 200 locomotives to transport ore from its 16 mines in Western Australia. The autonomous trains are equipped with cameras and monitored from an operations center.