Rio Tinto Train in Pilbara region, WA

MINING giant Rio Tinto has been granted accreditation by Australia’s Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) for autonomous at Pilbara iron-ore mines in Western Australia. Perth-based security integrator DTI will provide the remote video surveillance monitoring systems for the project.

Rio’s AutoHaul project is slated for completion by the end of 2018 after some delays in software development. According to Rio, the network will be the world’s first heavy-haul, long-distance autonomous rail operation, unlocking significant safety and productivity benefits for the business.

The project involves automating the company’s railway which links 16 iron-ore mines in the Pilbara hinterland with four ports on the coast. At the end of the first quarter of 2018, approximately 65 per cent of all track was operated autonomously with more than 3 million km of automated track completed.

Trains started running in autonomous mode, with a driver on-board to monitor the train, in the first quarter of 2017, but full implementation has been dependent on ONRSR approval.

Perth-based DTI provides advanced mobile surveillance systems, solutions and services to a global client list that includes transit agencies, transit operators, freight operators, law enforcement authorities and taxi organisations.♦