Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Autonomous Vehicles

Rio Tinto Expanding Autonomous Truck Fleet In Australia As Part Of Cost-Cutting Measures

One of the top mining firms in the world, Rio Tinto, has been operating a fleet of autonomous trucks in various parts of Australia as part of its operations there. Building on these earlier and current deployments, the company is now planning to greatly increase the size of the autonomous truck fleet working in Australia’s Pilbara iron-ore region, according to recent reports.

One of the top mining firms in the world, Rio Tinto, has been operating a fleet of autonomous trucks in various parts of Australia as part of its operations there. Building on these earlier and current deployments, the company is now planning to greatly increase the size of the autonomous truck fleet working in Australia’s Pilbara iron-ore region, according to recent reports.

The planned self-driving truck deployment is apparently part of a broader cost-cutting program that Rio Tinto is pursuing — which just goes to show why some industry observers are expecting the uptake of self-driving vehicle technologies to be fairly rapid in the commercial sector (there’s the potential there to do away with expensive human employees).

“We are studying future additions to our autonomous fleet in the Pilbara, based on value, to help deliver our share of $5 billion of additional free cash flow for the company by 2021,” explained Rio Tinto iron ore division CEO Chris Salisbury.

Image courtesy Rio Tinto

Reuters provides more: “Rio said it had signed deals with Komatsu Ltd and Caterpillar Inc to retrofit 48 trucks with Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) technology. This will be the first time the technology has been deployed on Caterpillar trucks, Rio said in a statement.

“After completion, due by the end of 2019, more than 130 of Rio’s Pilbara fleet of almost 400 trucks would be autonomous. Last year, on average, each of its autonomous haul trucks operated an additional 1000 hours and at 15% lower load and haul unit cost than conventional vehicles, Rio said.”

Those are some substantial improvements. Though, without purchase costs factored in, it’s hard to tell exactly how much Rio Tinto is saving through their deployment. Going on the new plans to expand deployment, one would guess a fair amount.


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Power

WIRED had an article the other day that caught my eye. The headline posed the question of whether we ought to “turn airports into...

Cars

Victoria wants to tax electric cars but doesn't tax conventional cars. Does that make any sense?

Clean Power

System Operator CEOs and Energy Leaders from Around the World Discussed Paths to Net-Zero Emissions During Launch Event for Global Power System Transformation Consortium

Batteries

Only when all three technologies are considered do we see the full spectrum of storage requirements being met. Lithium-ion's limitations are balanced by pumped...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.