The Australian train snafu is their problem, I guess. I think we have a similar setup in Arizona or some other place out west. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's a point to point mining line delivering ore to a smelter?
We did, but now we don't.
In the 1970's a mine railroad known as the Black Mesa & Lake Powell was built in northern Arizona. It used GE electric locomotives and I can't say for sure if there was automation. The same existed in Ohio - Muskingum Electric, newly built in the late 1960s and that one did have automation. But the early version of automation was not reliable enough. Muskingum got rid of it early in the game, and thereafter used an operator until the line was closed.
Hundreds of freight trains in the US are operated daily with automation. There is a crew aboard, who are supposed to set up the equipment at the beginning of the trip, allow the automated equipment to operate the train, be sure that proper speed and signal compliance are observed, and take action in case of an unplanned event. Fuel savings is the payoff. The equipment operates the train in a frustratingly cautious manner, and is agonizingly so in severe undulating territory, but it does save fuel and does not "grandstand", thus saving money in both areas.
Total crewless automation is not coming any time soon, to American common carrier railroading. The safety of the public can only be assured by the presence of an alert Engineer on board. The only exceptions could be rapid transit on a closed track system, or private railroads outside of populated areas (such as those in the Australian desert).
Same goes for common carrier trucking. The automation in trucking will be used to run two or three (perhaps more) large trucks using fuel-saving driving practices, right on each other's bumper, so to speak, with an operator in each cab for unplanned events. They will ride in each other's slipstream for economy of fuel. And truck drivers will become acquainted with a device very familiar to Locomotive Engineers -- an alertor.
Don't waste your time being scared. Skip the drama. The technology is here, but there is too much risk involved in allowing it to operate trains or large trucks without supervision. Even so, not many are enthused about it. It is just part of the transportation business in our era.