Driverless Trucks

The British-Australian multinational metals and mining corporation Rio Tinto has started using driverless trucks in its Yandicoogina and Nammuldi mine sites in Pilbara, Australia. The trucks are controlled by workers in Perth, 1,200 km away. The company maps out the entire mine sites and inputs that information into a system that works out how to maneuver the trucks through the mine. The company is also looking into unmanned trains and mining with robot drills, with the ultimate goal of rolling out the machines across as many of its mine sites as possible. Not only did the trucks remove the human component from the job, but they’ve also removed the human element of fatigue. The trucks can operate 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, with each truck estimated to save 500 work hours a year. The robotic staff simultaneously increases efficiency and consistency of the work done.


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