QMEB ยป Authority investigates driverless vehicle accident
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Authority investigates driverless vehicle accident

Rio Tinto mine pit
Rio Tinto mine pit

Officials are examining what caused autonomous machinery to crash.

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) is still trying to determine how a driverless train suffered an accident, after departing from the US$3.1 billion (A$4.4B) Koodaideri (Gudai-Darri) Mine, 301km south of Port Hedland.

The locomotive was transporting 30 wagons filled with iron ore when the rear carriages derailed along the 166km Gudai-Darri rail line back on 3 September 2022.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau refused to investigate because the train’s emergency brake was applied.

ONRSR confirmed early assessments showed onboard automated safety systems had operated as required.

“The train was in autonomous mode and no one was injured in the incident,” a Rio Tinto spokesperson said according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“Safety and wellbeing of our people and communities is our top priority.”

The mine is touted to be one of the world’s most technologically advanced, because it has automated trucks, trains and drills throughout. These assets are remotely monitored from an operations centre based in Perth.

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