Self-driving, 416-ton trucks are hauling raw materials around Australia
Self-driving trucks have begun to hit the roads in the United States, but they’re already hard at work in Australia.
British mining company Rio Tinto has 73 autonomous behemoths transporting iron ore 24 hours a day in West Angelas, Australia, across four job sites, according to MIT Tech Review. The autonomous fleet is roughly 15% cheaper than one with human drivers.
The trucks, made by Japanese manufacturer Komatsu, weigh 416 tons and use a mix of GPS, radar, and laser sensors to navigate a site. Their job is simple: go to a load site, wait to be filled with iron ore, and then drive to another location. Komatsu estimates that their autonomous trucks have already hauled 1 billion tons of material, mainly in Australia and Chile.
The human team overseeing the robots work 750 miles away, according to MIT Tech Review, far from being able to physically take action should something go wrong.