Autonomous mining vehicle converter gets $38m to fuel expansion plans

Autonomous mining vehicles with SafeAI’s technology. (Image by SafeAI).

SafeAI, a company that retrofits construction and mining vehicles with aftermarket hardware and proprietary autonomy software, received $38 million in Series B round funding to expand operations and continue developing its technology.

Among the firm’s funders are Builders VC, McKinley Management, George Kaiser Family Foundation, and Energy Innovation Capital. At the same time, Moog Inc., a manufacturer of electric, electro-hydraulic and hydraulic motion controls and systems, joined the round as a strategic investor. 

“Heavy industry is an enormous global market. Based on data from Australia Mining Consultancy and Parker Bay Mining, the mining equipment industry alone is valued at close to over $18 billion and is expected to grow at a 7% CAGR. But, the industry is threatened by productivity inefficiencies, safety issues and delays that derail project timelines and budgets,” SafeAI said in a media statement. “Autonomy addresses these issues head-on by delivering greater efficiency and 24/7 productivity—yet, less than 5% of mining vehicles worldwide are leveraging it. SafeAI is designed to meet this significant and increasing demand.”

According to the company, one of the main advantages of its technology is that it doesn’t require miners to acquire new equipment as it converts aftermarket vehicles and fleets with autonomous technology, regardless of manufacturer or vehicle type.

“SafeAI has developed their solution for scale and impact in a highly addressable off-road market that has an immediate need and proven traction,” Mark Blackwell, general partner at Builders VC, said in the press brief. “With a solution that is more broadly accessible to the industry, yet still powerful enough for the largest mining companies, SafeAI is set up to deliver industry transformation at scale.”  

Blackwell pointed out that the new funding comes on the heels of a year of momentous growth for SafeAI, including partnerships with contracting group MACA to deploy 100 mining trucks, Siemens on a collaboration for vehicle electrification and autonomy, and Obayashi Corporation on developing solutions for construction.

“We’ve designed a flexible, interoperable, scalable retrofit model to enable companies across the heavy industry to uplevel their operations,” Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO at SafeAI, said. “The mining industry has been successfully implementing autonomy on a limited scale for years. Our approach is purpose-built to finally accelerate autonomous accessibility and deployment on a significant scale. This funding is just the beginning of our next chapter of expansion and growth.” 

5 0