Australian miner shifting to autonomous road trains

By on 11 August, 2023
A Mineral Resources road train.

Australian mining company, Mineral Resources (MinRes), has chosen Hexagon to provide an autonomous haulage solution for a fleet of 120 fully autonomous road trains at its Onslow Iron project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The core of the autonomous platooning system will be Hexagon’s autonomous solutions stack integrating drive-by-wire technology, with an autonomous management system to orchestrate vehicle movement in road train haulage.

According to Hexagon, the autonomy solution includes a GNSS localisation system through a NovAtel PwrPak7D-E2 with OEM7 dual receivers and TerraStar-C PRO Correction Service. The PwrPak7D-E2 incorporates SPAN GNSS+INS technology that couples inertial measurements from an internal Epson G320N MEMS IMU with satellite measurements. The TerraStar-C PRO is able to achieve a 2.5cm-level accuracy with convergence in as fast as three minutes across a satellite or Internet network.

“We’re excited to announce our agreement with Hexagon to deliver the world’s first fleet of autonomous road trains, which will be an essential part of Onslow Iron’s safe, efficient and dust-free solution for hauling ore,” said Mike Grey, Chief Executive, MinRes.

“Automation will remove the risk of driver fatigue, lower operating costs and reduce fuel use and emissions. There’s enormous potential for these vehicles to transform mining across the world.”

“I’m excited to see how similar solutions can be applied in other off-road markets such as agriculture and heavy industry,” added Paolo Guglielmini, President and CEO, Hexagon.

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