Autonomous Mining and Construction Operations
Bibhrajit Halder, Founder & CEO, SafeAI joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss autonomous mining and construction operations.
The conversation begins with Bibhrajit discussing why in 2017 when the market was full of hype and investment dollars for passenger autonomous vehicles, that he bucked the trend and made the strategic decision to focus on the heavy equipment industry.
Bibhrajit’s strategic decision is paying dividends today as the global mining industry is a $2 trillion dollar market with accelerating growth thanks in part to the growth of the electric vehicle market. The heavy equipment industry is a key supplier to this market, setting SafeAI up with the perfect scenario for growth, all the while helping to improve safety and increase operational efficiency through autonomy.
This industry is also not the most safest industry. This industry also wants to run more efficiently.– Bibhrajit Halder
The largest deployment of heavy equipment autonomous vehicles is located in Australia where there are over 1,000 actively heavy equipment autonomous vehicles in operation today.
The thousand autonomous trucks that have been running for seven or eight years, and they have moved about 4 to 5 billion tons of material over 24/7 operations without a single fatal accident.– Bibhrajit Halder
Mines in Australia are capitalizing on the efficiencies unlocked by autonomy and the positive benefits that this technology has on society. In Western Australia, SafeAI has a partnership with MACA to retrofit 100 heavy equipment trucks for autonomy. While Australia is a booming market for heavy equipment autonomous vehicles, the markets of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Japan are emerging markets with growth potential.
With autonomy scaling in the mining industry, Grayson compares the mining industry to the agricultural industry and asks Bibhrajit if he sees a global miner making autonomy acquisitions similar to the way John Deere has done to grow their business.
If you look at in general, any industry this kind of fundamental technology, there will be consolidation. No doubt about it. There will be consolidation and that consolidation happens naturally as different players come up and show their strengths and weaknesses.– Bibhrajit Halder
While consolidation will happen at some point in the global mining industry, Bibhrajit is laser focused on serving his customers for the long-term. That is both in the mining industry and the construction industry where SafeAI is actively expanding their business through a partnership with the Obayashi Corporation in Japan.
This is the first step of our way to expand autonomous construction in Japan, and we are working hand-in-hand with Obayashi.– Bibhrajit Halder
Wrapping up the conversation, Bibhrajit explains how autonomy compliments the mining and construction industries.
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Recorded on Tuesday, August 2, 2022