Self driving trucks, trains and drilling save costs and boost mine production

The mining company Rio Tinto has been running robotic trucks for over ten years. Seventy-six of their 400 mining trucks are robotic.

The robotic self driving trucks are 15% cheaper to run.

Robotic drilling can run for almost a third longer on average than with manned rigs, and to churn through 10% more meters per hour.

Rio Tinto, First train of Iron Ore from Brockman 4 Iron Ore mine. Always credit Christian Sprogoe Photography when published.

In 2018, Rio hopes to win regulatory approval to run the world’s first driverless trains along 1,700km of track between its 16 iron-ore mines and four ports in the Pilbara. It completed a 100km test run in September. The autonomy can provide a 6% improvement in average speed, and the elimination of three driver-changes in each 40-hour period.

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