Gamuda launches its first autonomous tunnel boring machine in Australia
07 Sep 2023 | LinkedIn

Gamuda reached a significant milestone recently as it launched its first autonomous tunnel boring machine (TBM) in Australia as part of the Sydney Metro West – Western Tunnelling Package.

The TBM known as Betty, named in honour of Australian athlete and four-time Olympic champion Betty Cuthbert, uses proprietary technology developed by Gamuda. The sophisticated artificial intelligence software installed inside the TBM has the capability to automatically steer, operate, and monitor the machine. While an operator is always in control of the machine, the autonomous algorithm takes on the machine’s repetitive tasks, leading to increased speed and greater accuracy.

Whilst it is the first time the technology has been used in Australia; it has previously been used to build 13.5 kilometres of tunnel for the Klang Vally Mass Rapid Transit Putrajaya Line in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2019-20. The cutting-edge tunnelling technology showcases the innovation used on Sydney Metro, Australia’s biggest public transport project.

Construction of the twin metro tunnels from Sydney Olympic Park to Westmead is part of the Sydney Metro West – Western Tunnelling Package contract awarded in February 2022 to the Gamuda Australia and Laing O’Rourke Consortium.

Did you know?

TBM Betty is 170-metres long, the same size as two Airbus A380s.
TBM Betty will tunnel approximately 180 metres a week to tunnel 4.5-kilometres to Sydney Olympic Park and complete the first leg of its journey.
It’s traditional to give a female name to all machines that work underground – it is believed to bring good luck.
Betty Cuthbert won a place in the hearts of Australians after winning four gold medals, including three gold in athletics at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, earning her the title of the nation’s Golden Girl.
Tunnelling between Sydney Olympic Park and Westmead is expected to be completed by mid-2025.