SafeAI and Obayashi operate an autonomous vehicle at a construction site in Japan


Together, the companies have held a series of live autonomous vehicle demonstrations that are a crucial step towards securing government approval for self-driving in Japan.

SafeAI, a world leader in autonomous solutions for heavy equipment, in partnership with Obayashi Corporation, welcomed nearly 150 visitors to see its modernized autonomous Caterpillar 725, operating for the very first time on a construction site in Japan. The demonstrations, which took place over a two-week period, brought together delegates from nearly 50 organizations across the construction industry ecosystem, including OEMs, general contractors, technology companies, universities and research groups and Japanese government entities responsible for regulation. In addition to gaining buy-in from key stakeholders, the demos mark a crucial first step towards gaining approval from government and industry organizations to introduce self-driving construction in Japan.

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Prior to public demonstration, SafeAI and Obayashi spent 6 weeks extensively testing in a Japanese environment to confirm all features previously developed in the US-based proof of concept (POC), which was completed in California in November 2021 .

Japanese regulations were not originally designed to support the use of autonomous vehicles for off-road construction. Yet this technology is poised to unlock smarter, safer, more sustainable and more productive construction sites. Stand-alone assets enable companies to add thousands of hours of productivity each year, completing major projects 20% faster and at 25% lower cost, helping industry overcome chronic delay issues , budget and security.

“At SafeAI, we are committed to making heavy industry safer and more productive for businesses around the world. In partnership with Obayashi and through the joint demonstration of an autonomous construction vehicle in Japan, we are making great strides towards achieving this goal,” said Bibhrajit Halder, Founder and CEO of SafeAI. “From there, we are focused on securing the adhesion of autonomous vehicles to government/industrial organizations and executing a ramp-up plan for the construction industry that begins in Japan and s expands globally from there.”

Following the success of the breakthrough demonstrations, SafeAI will continue to work with government and industry consortium groups to review the results and assess regulatory changes regarding self-contained construction.

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“We firmly believe that the future of the construction industry depends on off-road autonomy and we are committed to bringing this technology to Japan where it will have a massive impact on safety, sustainability and productivity by partnering to SafeAI,” Shinya Sugiura told Obayashi. “The Japanese construction market represents a great opportunity for autonomous technology and the recent demonstrations that were conducted in Japan not only confirm the functionality of the system we have built, but also highlight the global viability and impact self-build projects.”

Obayashi is the recipient of the Special Prize in the Pioneering Activities Category of the 5th JAPAN Construction International Award sponsored by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), cementing the company as an industry leader Japanese construction and recognizes SafeAI. joint development of this state-of-the-art system.

SafeAI’s standalone solution is powered by industry-specific artificial intelligence technology and uses on-board processing power to enable real-time decision making. From the use of the latest multimodal sensors (LiDAR, radar, camera) to detect the environment, to perception-based localization with GNSS, SafeAI relies on the most advanced technologies on the market to bring more efficient autonomy, efficient and scalable to heavy industry. Additionally, the company uses a retrofit model to allow companies to upgrade existing equipment, regardless of manufacturer or vehicle type, instead of limiting companies to purchasing new built autonomous vehicles. by the manufacturer, which is expensive and more difficult to scale.

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