Driverless road trains

A world-first pilot programme using 385-tonne GCM driverless triple road trains is currently underway


Plans are afoot to ramp it up to 425-tonne set-ups that would run in convoy in the Pilbara.

Mineral Resources (MRL) is working on the ambitious autonomous road train project in partnership with digital reality solutions provider Hexagon. "MRL has always been at the forefront of providing innovative and low-cost mining services solutions," says Mike Grey, MRL chief executive – Mining Services.

"The autonomous road trains will take us to the next level again. They provide a safe, cost-efficient solution for hauling ore, which is key to unlocking stranded tonnes in the Pilbara."
MRL says the autonomous road trains will form an essential part of the cost-efficient supply chain for the Ashburton Hub Iron Ore Project.

To support the development of the 30Mtpa Ashburton Hub, the business plans to run a fleet of 425 tonne Gross Combination Mass (GCM), triple-trailer road trains operating across multiple convoys, with each road train convoy consisting of up to five prime mover trucks, with three trailers each, hauling the ore from the mine-site to the Port of Ashburton.

A road train convoy will have up to five prime movers, with three trailers each

The autonomous road train integrates Hexagon’s technology with an autonomous management system. A successful pilot project is underway at our Yilgarn operations using 385 tonne GCM triple-trailer road trains.

"During the next two years, the testing will continue, ramping up to 425 tonne GCM," says Mike. "Our autonomous road trains, combined with our other innovations, are all part of our growth strategy to expand our capability to provide full pit-to-ship, low-cost infrastructure solutions."


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