SafeAI and Obayashi Corporation Partner to Deploy Autonomous Construction Pilot

SafeAI and Obayashi will operate an autonomous articulated dump truck on Silicon Valley test site this fall

MILPITAS, Calif., Oct. 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, SafeAI, a platform for autonomous heavy equipment, and Obayashi Corporation, a Japanese-based global leader in construction, are announcing a partnership to create autonomous construction sites, beginning with a pilot program on a U.S. test site. Joining with one of the largest names in construction, SafeAI is demonstrating industrial autonomy in a real world situation and setting a standard for future autonomous heavy equipment. The news follows Obayashi Corporation’s strategic investment in SafeAI in November 2019.

Beginning in November 2020, SafeAI will operate an autonomous articulated dump truck, specifically the Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck, demonstrating a vital function on the site: load-haul-dump cycles. The pilot will operate at a construction site in Cupertino, CA.

Globally, construction represents one of the largest sectors in the world economy, according to The McKinsey Global Institute –– $10 trillion is spent on construction-related goods and services yearly. America creates nearly $1.3 trillion worth of structures each year while Japan creates 11.1 trillion yen worth of construction orders. Yet the industry-at-large faces labor shortages, missed deadlines, and increasing costs. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated these labor shortages –– 83 percent of contractors reported moderate to high levels of difficulty in finding skilled workers, causing them to turn down projects.

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

“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.”

“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 SVVL (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.”

To learn more about SafeAI’s technology and offering, please visit

About SafeAI
SafeAI is an autonomous heavy equipment leader focused on advancing modern industry. SafeAI retrofits heavy equipment for autonomous applications in mining and construction to serve a massive ecosystem of industry players with complex needs. By building a software platform with the most advanced, industry-specific AI, SafeAI enables equipment owners to transform existing machines into self-operating robotic assets. Obayashi Corp. and Foundamental have made strategic investments in SafeAI, and the company currently operates with Obayashi Corp in Cupertino, CA. SafeAI is based in Milpitas, CA.

About Obayashi
Obayashi Corporation has delivered solutions to infrastructure challenges across the globe. Founded in 1892, Obayashi has provided a full range of general contractor services in both public and private works such as Tokyo Central Station, Kansai International Airport, TOKYO SKYTREE, Dubai Metro project, Jewel Changi Airport, and Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. Other services include R&D, design, urban development, maintenance, and renewable energy.

Dana Jacobs

Obayashi Corporation
Hiroto Sato