MinRes pioneers autonomous road train plan in Australia

Western Australian mining services company, Mineral Resources (MinRes), aims to deploy 120 fully autonomous road trains along a private route.

This fleet investment is expected to support the company’s Onslow Iron project by eliminating the risk of driver fatigue, increasing fleet availability, lowering operations costs and reducing fuel usage and emissions.

Operators will reportedly control the fleet from a centre in Onlsow, while MinRes develops a monitoring system powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The freight task will involve triple-trailer combinations carting 330 tonnes of iron ore about 150km on a private road from Ken’s Bore mine site to the Port of Ashburton.

Ore will be transported to a 220,000-tonne enclosed, negative pressure storage facility at the port. From there, 20,000-tonne capacity transhippers will move the ore to cape-size carriers 40km off the coast.

Testing of autonomous road trains has been progressing at MinRes’ Yilgarn iron ore operations since late 2021 ahead of the technology’s deployment at Onslow Iron.

The project, which is the cornerstone of MinRes’ strategy to deliver low-cost, long-life iron ore operations, will ship about 35 million tonnes of iron ore per year from mid-2024.

Earlier this year, Qube trialled a double stacked container trailer for the first time on public roads in Australia.

In other news, Schmitz Cargobull has successfully extended the GDP certificate for its TrailerConnect trailer telematics system.

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