The type inference engine is pretty smart. It does more than looking at the type of the r-value during an initialization. It also looks at how the variable is used afterwards to infer its type. Here's an advanced example of type inference:

fn main() {
    // Because of the annotation, the compiler knows that `elem` has type u8.
    let elem = 5u8;

    // Create an empty vector (a growable array).
    let mut vec = Vec::new();
    // At this point the compiler doesn't know the exact type of `vec`, it
    // just knows that it's a vector of something (`Vec<_>`).

    // Insert `elem` in the vector.
    // Aha! Now the compiler knows that `vec` is a vector of `u8`s (`Vec<u8>`)
    // TODO ^ Try commenting out the `vec.push(elem)` line

    println!("{:?}", vec);

No type annotation of variables was needed, the compiler is happy and so is the programmer!