EV & AI Revolutionise Construction Trucks

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_EV & AI Revolutionise Construction Trucks: SafeAI and Obayashi
Image of autonomous Caterpillar 725 retrofitted by SafeAI in collaboration with Obayashi.

SafeAI and Obayashi recently introduced an impressive innovation - the first-ever retrofit zero-emission, autonomous haul truck, the Caterpillar 725.

What's cool about this truck is that it has been upgraded with both autonomous and electrification technologies. This is a big deal because it means companies can improve their operations and meet sustainability goals by repurposing their existing trucks.

In the heavy industry world, companies have been dealing with safety, productivity, and cost challenges for a long time. With everyone now talking about Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments, sustainability has become a top priority. Combining autonomy and electrification in retrofitting a haul truck is a major step forward for the industry.

So, what does this mean for companies? Well, they can upgrade their old trucks, making operations more efficient and environmentally friendly. Bibhrajit Halder, the CEO of SafeAI, is excited because this project shows how their autonomous tech can work with any vehicle, including electric ones.

Mixing autonomy and electrification brings some cool benefits. It makes things safer by improving charging setups, and workplace conditions, and allowing trucks to run 24/7 without risking workers' safety. Plus, it boosts efficiency, letting companies run their trucks all the time and saving on operating costs.

On the green side, it helps companies meet their carbon-neutral goals. Autonomy alone can make worksites about 13% more environmentally friendly, and switching from diesel to electricity can cut emissions by over 60%.

And here's the kicker: it's cost-effective. Buying brand-new electric, autonomous trucks is pricey, but retrofitting existing ones is a more affordable and eco-friendly way to upgrade.

Sugiura Shinya, from Obayashi, said sustainability focus and the unique aspect of retrofitting give companies more control over going carbon-neutral. SafeAI and Obayashi have been working together since 2020 to make construction more straightforward with autonomous solutions.

For this project, SafeAI handled the autonomous tech, and AVIA Engineering, experts in electrification, added a fully electric drive system to the truck. David Sánchez, the CEO of AVIA Engineering, has been part of this innovative project, allowing companies to recycle their old trucks more sustainably.

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Source: Robotics & Automation News

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