S&P Global Commodity Insights: N America oil and gas production heading towards all-time high in 2023; extending lead as world’s top producing region
GM and Komatsu collaborate on hydrogen fuel cell-powered mining truck

SafeAI and Obayashi unveil retrofit electric, autonomous construction haul truck

SafeAI, a developer of autonomous vehicle technology for heavy industry, and Obayashi Corporation, a leading construction company, unveiled a retrofit zero-emission, autonomous haul truck. The Caterpillar 725 is the first haul truck retrofitted with autonomous and electrification technology. (Earlier post.)


While autonomy and electrification have been implemented independently, this is the first time a haul truck has been successfully retrofitted with both technologies, SafeAI said. This enables companies to reuse and upgrade their existing assets while streamlining site operations and improving environmental performance.

Just as our autonomous solution is designed to be open and interoperable to be applied to any make or model vehicle, we want our solution also to be powered by any energy source. This project is a step in that direction as it showcases how our autonomous ground vehicle stack is EV-compatible.

I am proud of our latest endeavor of retrofitting a Caterpillar 725, marking the world's first haul truck retrofitted with autonomous and electrification technology. This pioneering project is a testament to our commitment to an energy-agnostic, autonomous future where efficiency and sustainability go hand in hand.

—Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO of SafeAI

By marrying automation and electrification together, there are compounded advantages that are otherwise hard to achieve as independent technologies:

  • Safety: Enables a more advanced and safer charging infrastructure and workplace while removing employees from dangerous work environments to supervise from afar without needing to operate or refuel vehicles.

  • Efficiency: Autonomy’s ability to enable 24/7 operations combined with the lower operating costs of electric vehicles improve overall productivity and cost-effectiveness, allowing companies to make the most of their assets.

  • Sustainability: Companies have clear carbon-neutral goals. Autonomy alone can boost environmental performance on worksites by up to 13%, and by swapping out diesel for electricity, operators can cut net life cycle emissions by over 60%.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Brand-new electric, autonomous vehicles have steep upfront costs that are prohibitive to many companies. Retrofit technology allows companies to upgrade existing fleets in a more affordable and environmentally friendly way.

SafeAI and Obayashi have worked together since October 2020 to address common pain points across construction with autonomous solutions. SafeAI and Siemens signed an agreement in May 2021 to work jointly on retrofitting off-road heavy vehicles for autonomy, zero emission and connected applications, due to the increasing convergence of these three mega-trends in vehicles.

SafeAI retrofitted the vehicle with its proven, OEM-agnostic autonomous technology for this project. AVIA Engineering, a systems integrator, retrofitted the vehicle with a fully electric drive system.


The comments to this entry are closed.