Equipment Journal

SafeAI and Obayashi test an autonomous articulated dump truck

SafeAI, a platform for autonomous heavy equipment, has partnered with Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation to create autonomous construction sites.

Beginning in November, SafeAI will operate an autonomous articulated dump truck — a Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck — to complete load-haul-dump cycles. The pilot will operate at a construction site in California.   

The pilot project follows Obayashi Corporation’s strategic investment in SafeAI in November 2019.

By partnering with Obayashi, SafeAI is demonstrating industrial autonomy in a real world situation and setting a standard for future autonomous heavy equipment.

“Our work with Obayashi paves the way for safer and more efficient construction sites across the world and reflects Obayashi’s commitment to innovative, connected technologies,” said Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO of SafeAI.

“There is a critical need for autonomy outside of on-road vehicles –– the technology is ready today and we’ve built an ecosystem specifically for the construction and mining industries.”

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SafeAI has built an open, interoperable full stack autonomy platform that can be retrofitted across an existing fleet of construction equipment. The interoperable model allows for integration with a range of partners, bringing the entire vehicle onto the autonomous platform. SafeAI’s advanced autonomy is equipped to be deployed in a variety of construction use cases, while navigating highly dynamic worksites.

According to SafeAI, autonomous heavy equipment addresses long held pain points of the construction industry by offering a safer, more productive solution that can operate 24/7 without risk of fatigue or injury.

“We are investing in autonomous solutions that we believe will play a critical role in our success both in the near term and also down the road. SafeAI has built a powerful autonomous ecosystem that ushers in safer, more productive worksites,” said Hiroto Sato, COO of Obayashi Silicon Valley Ventures & Laboratory.

“Throughout our partnership, we look forward to building operational and organizational structure to support this pilot and more deployments like it in the future.”