SafeAI to retrofit mining fleet with autonomy

Company partners with Australian contractor for 100 vehicles

MACA SafeAI will work with MACA to retrofit its mixed fleet for autonomy, including Hitachi haul trucks. (Photo: SafeAI)

SafeAI, a California-based technology company focused on autonomous heavy equipment, and MACA, a mining and resource sector contractor based in Western Australia, announced a partnership to retrofit a fleet of 100 mixed vehicles. Along with SafeAI’s Australian partner, Position Partners, the companies will create an autonomous mine fleet in Australia.

SafeAI has built an autonomous platform that brings the latest in artificial intelligence (AI) to heavy industry. The company said its platform is interoperable and vehicle-agnostic, enabling mining and construction companies to retrofit any vehicle, from any manufacturer, with autonomous technology. With advanced multimodal sensors and significant onboard processing power, SafeAI-enabled equipment reportedly can independently make efficient, accurate decisions to keep operations running smoothly and safely, 24/7.

“The mining industry has had autonomous equipment for more than twenty years—but we’ve gone as far as we can go with the first iteration of this technology,” said Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO of SafeAI. “SafeAI and MACA are going all in on the next generation of autonomy — a generation that is AI-powered, versatile and scalable to bring meaningful, widespread change to the mining industry.”

MACA, a contract miner that recently reported a $13 billion pipeline of opportunities, needed a solution capable of scaling with its business. SafeAI said its interoperable retrofit technology unlocks scalability and versatility by enabling the company to optimize its existing fleet, rather than forcing it to complete a highly time-consuming and costly transition to an entirely new fleet of autonomous vehicles.

“This technology is a game changer for our business, our customers and our industry,” said Shane Clark, MACA’s general manager of Estimating and Technical Services. “SafeAI’s versatile, scalable solution is unmatched in our industry right now, and has profound implications for site safety, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. We expect to see quick takeup from our customers as they begin to see the tremendous impact of this technology.”

Through this partnership, SafeAI and Position Partners will work with MACA to retrofit its haul trucks with autonomous hardware and software. SafeAI said MACA will be the first contract miner to deploy AI-powered autonomy for its customers.

“With SafeAI’s scalable, AI-powered technology, we can quickly deploy autonomous heavy equipment across our sites—creating safer, more productive operations and setting a new standard for our industry,” said Mike Sutton, CEO and managing director of MACA.

This partnership follows a successful proof of concept between the three companies at Australia’s Karlawinda gold mine owned by Capricorn Metals and comes on the heels of a year of significant growth for SafeAI. In 2021, SafeAI expanded into four new countries, doubled its headcount, released an industry-first operating system and raised a Series A round of funding in June 2021.

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