Mineral Resources automated road train world first

21 April, 2022

A successful demonstration was achieved of the triple trailer automated road train platoon. The demonstration was run by Mineral Resources (MRL) and each road train was able to haul 300 tonnes of iron ore.

The demonstration highlighted the success of automated road trains and was recorded as a world first.

MRL is not new to autonomous road trains, with its pilot program taking place late 2021 at their Yilgarn iron ore operations.

MRL partnered with autonomy specialist Hexagon on the project. Hexagon’s drive by wire technology was integrated with an autonomous management system to orchestrate vehicle movement.

Mike Grey, Chief Executive of MRL said automating a road train platoon of this size had never been achieved before. The entire company was delighted by the recent innovation.

“It’s been an exciting journey over the past year and we’ve now achieved a world-first platoon of three autonomous road trains, which is a game changer for us,” Grey said.

“It’s an extremely proud moment to see our autonomous project grow from desktop concept to iron ore reality so quickly.”

MRL has made a name for themselves regarding their innovative services across the mining infrastructure supply chain. This includes a number of innovations to enhance the safety and operational efficiency of the road trains.

“Our autonomous road trains will form an essential part of the cost-efficient supply chain unlocking stranded resources in the Pilbara region as part of the Ashburton Hub iron ore project,” the company stated.

“The technology will initially be adopted for our own operations, with a view to offering the solution to our large Tier 1 customer base as we grow our Mining Services division,” he said.

“As we get ready for the Ashburton Hub iron ore project and look to unlock stranded tonnes of iron ore, our autonomous road trains will be the vital link between the pit and the port.

“As the first of its kind in the world, it opens up new opportunities for us, as we can trial the technology ourselves before offering it to our Tier 1 customers.”