Rio Tinto completes first fully autonomous rail journey in Western Australia

Interview with Prof Ian Atkinson

Rio Tinto had their first fully automated iron ore train make a journey from Wombat Junction into Paraburdoo, saying it's an Australian first and will pave the way for greater productivity gains and safety on mine sites across the region. Joseph Dunstan speaks to Prof Ian Atkinson from the eResearch Centre at James Cook University about automation in the mining industry. Prof Atkinson says if you break it down, it's actually not that complicated and its a lot easier in an industrial environment with a railway line where there is tracks and a variety of sensors around the train that determine speed and vibration. He says the software has taken inputs from cameras and other censors, replicating in many ways what the human brain would do. Prof Atkinson says Rio Tinto is leading the charge in this field, but is not the only company involved in this technology. He says most of the haulage and transport industries are expected to move to the driverless technology within the next decade, because it's not all about saving on wages, but a lot more about predictability.

Story Via ABC NorthWest WA - Breakfast | 03/10/2017 - 7:23am

Discover more here:

Rio Tinto completes first fully autonomous rail journey in Western Australia

Rio Tinto runs first train in full robot mode

Rio Tinto gets driverless train strategy back on track Amanda Green Policy Adviser RITC