But walk down a small set of stairs and open an unassuming cabinet and you’ll find a mess of wires, circuit boards and other complicated looking electronics that make up the Autohaul’s brain.
The company had to overcome unique regulatory hurdles and several delays due to the complexity of the software.
Now hundreds of trains trundle obediently through the Pilbara’s oxide-stained ranges and salt flats every day, carrying 1 million tonnes of Rio Tinto product from its 16 mines to port. At all times being closely monitored by a remote operations centre in Perth.
Rio Tinto iron ore managing director of rail, port and core services Ivan Vella said Autohaul reflected the pioneering spirit of the project team and cemented the Pilbara as the ‘Silicon Valley of autonomy’.
“This is another reflection of the commitment to technology and innovation here in the Pilbara and in WA,” he said at the official launch of the trains at the company’s 7 Mile rail operations centre near Karratha.
This content was originally published here.