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Author Topic: WA: Rio Tinto - autonomous rail  (Read 742 times)

Offline ozbob

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WA: Rio Tinto - autonomous rail
« on: October 04, 2017, 11:04:08 AM »
https://twitter.com/RioTinto/status/914652903322771456
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 03:00:53 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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WA: Rio Tinto - autonomous rail
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 11:05:32 AM »
Rio Tinto --> Rio Tinto completes first fully autonomous rail journey in Western Australia



Quote
Rio Tinto has successfully completed the first fully autonomous rail journey at its iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as the company progresses toward full commissioning of the AutoHaul® project in late 2018.

The nearly 100 kilometre pilot run was completed without a driver on board, making it the first fully autonomous heavy haul train journey ever completed in Australia.

The journey was completed safely, being closely monitored in real-time by Rio Tinto teams and representatives of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, both on the ground and at the Operations Centre in Perth.

The successful pilot run from Wombat Junction to Paraburdoo is a significant step toward full commissioning of AutoHaul® in 2018 once all relevant safety and acceptance criteria have been met and regulatory approvals obtained.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said “This successful pilot run puts us firmly on track to meet our goal of operating the world’s first fully-autonomous heavy haul, long distance rail network, which will unlock significant safety and productivity benefits for the business.

“Gains from AutoHaul® are already being realised including reduced variability and increased speed across the network, helping to reduce average cycle times.

“Rio Tinto is proud to be a leader in innovation and autonomous technology in the global mining industry which is delivering long-term competitive advantages as we build the mines of the future. New roles are being created to manage our future operations and we are preparing our current workforce for new ways of working to ensure they remain part of our industry.”

Rio Tinto’s focus on automation technology and innovation is improving safety, is better for the environment and boosting productivity.

Notes to editors

The AutoHaul® project is focused on automating the trains that are essential to transporting the iron ore to our port facilities.

Trains started running in autonomous mode in the first quarter of 2017. Currently about 50 per cent of pooled fleet rail kilometres are completed in autonomous mode (with drivers on-board) and 90 percent of pooled fleet production tonnes are AutoHaul® enhanced.

Rio Tinto operates about 200 locomotives on more than 1,700 kilometres of track in the Pilbara, transporting ore from 16 mines to four port terminals.
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Offline ozbob

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WA: Rio Tinto - autonomous rail
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 12:11:47 PM »
https://twitter.com/RailExpressNews/status/915325835124514816
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Offline ozbob

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WA: Rio Tinto - autonomous rail
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2018, 02:59:17 AM »
WA Today --> One HAL of a ride: Rio's Pilbara robot makes first iron ore delivery



Quote
The world's largest robot made the world's first completely automated iron ore delivery on Tuesday.

Rio Tinto's autonomous train carried about 28,000 tonnes of iron ore more than 280 kilometres from Tom Price to the Cape Lambert port on July 10.

Operators in Rio Tinto’s Perth operations centre 1500 kilometres away monitored the entire journey remotely.

Rio Tinto's "Auto Haul" program got regulatory approval in May and was on schedule to be completed by the end of the year.

Rio Tinto iron ore managing director rail, port and core services Ivan Vella said the program would deliver the world’s first fully autonomous, long-distance, heavy-haul rail network, operating the world’s largest and longest robots.

“We will continue to ensure our autonomous trains operate safely under the wide range of conditions we experience in the Pilbara, where we record more than eight million kilometres of train travel each year," he said.

Not everyone is sold on the technology however with concerns raised by unions over the future of Rio Tinto's train driver workforce.

Mr Vella said the company was working closely with drivers during the transition period, preparing them for new ways of working as a result of automation.

Rail technology and systems provider Ansaldo STS helped develop the software and systems that drive the train.

Ansaldo STS president for freight Michele Fracchiolla said Tuesday's journey had been six years in the making.

He said it was just beginning for major change in the freight and transport sector, which will impact the workforces within them.

“This is an exciting and challenging time for transportation and infrastructure developers globally," he said.

"The potential for continuous and fast-pace change, supported at all levels by the Internet of Things, will lead to greater integration of systems, the span of autonomous practices will increase, and skills sets needed by our workforce will modify.”
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Offline ozbob

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Re: WA: Rio Tinto - autonomous rail
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2018, 08:17:34 AM »
https://twitter.com/Robert_Dow/status/1018196268424687616
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Offline ozbob

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Re: WA: Rio Tinto - autonomous rail
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2018, 08:20:33 AM »
The Next Web --> Fully autonomous trains are better suited for moving ores than people

Quote
Australian mining company Rio Tinto’s high-tech train completed the first fully autonomous delivery of iron ore in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

The autonomous train, consisting of three locomotives, carried about 28,000 tonnes of iron ore across 280 km from the company’s mining operations in Tom Price to the port of Cape Lambert on July 10.

https://twitter.com/australian/status/1017605085998866432

As we have reported, companies and research teams across the world continue to develop driverless cars, trucks, ships and airplanes for passengers. But complete automation of passenger trains is still an unviable idea.

This is the second time Rio Tinto has completed an autonomous train journey. The company’s first trial of the technology in October, last year, saw its train run a distance of 100 km between Australia’s Wombat Junction and Paraburdoo – but the train did not carry any cargo or passengers. Rio Tinto noted earlier that it aims to use the technology to standardize its trains’ operation and increase their speeds across its network.

With these recent developments, one might wonder if it is easier to bring autonomous passenger trains to the mainstream before self-driving cars could make it to the traffic. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

It is important to understand that even within automated trains, there are four grades. The first grade is Automated Train Protection (or ATP) which is a system that continuously checks the train’s speed and stops if it goes out of control. The second is Automated Train Operation (ATO) in which some systems like changing tracks, starting, and stopping are automated.

The third category is Driverless Train Operation (DTO) in which there are no drivers, but there is an attendant to take control when there is an emergency. Above all these is true automation without any staff on board – Unattended Train Operation (UTO).

The first three categories are already operational in some countries as metro rails, subway trains, or as light rail. You can find some autonomous passenger rail systems in Germany, Canada, and France manufactured by companies like Siemens, Bombaier and Alstom. London’s Docklands Light Railway and Copenhagen’s Metro also use systems with automatic train protection, operation and supervision.

However, these do not have obstacle detection systems and are mostly limited to trips over raised, unobstructed tracks like metro lines, airport terminal connections, and amusement parks. So these trains always assume a free line and race through. But there’s a major bottleneck holding true UTOs back.

It’s harder to manage the stoppage distance of trains over long distances than of any other vehicle type. Trains need to identify stations or obstacles well in advance before making a calculated stop. To make matters worse, the friction between a train’s metal wheels and metal tracks is much lower than that between a car’s tyre and the road. So coming to a quick stop needs human oversight.

Achieving full automation would require advanced image processing technology relaying information at high speeds to the control units at all times. These systems must also be constantly maintained by highly trained personnel, adding more costs to the implementation.

Additionally, railway workers across the world are unionized, and would not want to lose their jobs to automation. Plus, many people feel UTOs might be risky, and as such, there’s not a lot of public support for these vehicles at the moment. All these factors tell us that completely automated, long distance passenger trains may not become a mainstay at least in the foreseeable future.
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Offline #Metro

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Re: WA: Rio Tinto - autonomous rail
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2018, 09:15:57 AM »

Quote
It’s harder to manage the stoppage distance of trains over long distances than of any other vehicle type. Trains need to identify stations or obstacles well in advance before making a calculated stop. To make matters worse, the friction between a train’s metal wheels and metal tracks is much lower than that between a car’s tyre and the road. So coming to a quick stop needs human oversight.

Human presence does not override physics. Advantage at the moment of a person is image recognition - but that may not be true in the future as advances are made in this area.

Quote
Additionally, railway workers across the world are unionized, and would not want to lose their jobs to automation. Plus, many people feel UTOs might be risky, and as such, there’s not a lot of public support for these vehicles at the moment. All these factors tell us that completely automated, long distance passenger trains may not become a mainstay at least in the foreseeable future.

Doesn't seem to be an issue in Sydney where the new metro is going in. Whoever makes fully automated commuter rail possible will make a lot of money!
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