Fortescue Metals Group is setting up an R&D centre in Karratha, Western Australia.

AUSTRALIA: Fortescue Metals Group is establishing an R&D centre in Karratha, Western Australia to research autonomous mobility technology for urban environments, the mining company announced on March 21.

Fortescue will work with the city and with the University of Technology Sydney on the project, which aims to build on Fortescue’s experience of autonomous technology in mining operations.

According to CEO Elizabeth Gaines, autonomous trucks in the company’s iron ore mines have travelled a cumulative total of 26 million km since their introduction in 2012. Trials of autonomous light vehicles are due to take place at its Christmas Creek mine.