CRH to explore autonomous hauling tech with SafeAI

By |  December 26, 2023
Photo by Pit & Quarry staff.

Through a pilot program, CRH and SafeAI will simulate autonomous hauling operations at a quarry for about one year. Photo: P&Q Staff

Autonomous haulers aren’t traversing the nation’s quarries just yet. CRH, however, is now among the few U.S. aggregate producers exploring the feasibility of the technology with a pilot program.

SafeAI reports that CRH Ventures, the venture capital unit of CRH, plans to evaluate the feasibility and capabilities of its tech “at one of its prominent quarrying subsidiaries in North America.”

According to SafeAI, its retrofit solution utilizes imaging, detection and positioning technologies – plus AI – to enable heavy off-road hauling vehicles to operate autonomously.

The pilot program will simulate quarry operations and run for about one year, SafeAI says, comparing autonomous performance against traditionally manned operations. An autonomous truck equipped with SafeAI’s technologies will operate in an isolated area under the supervision of a test driver.

“Autonomous solutions have the potential to transform heavy industry,” says Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO of SafeAI. “We work with forward-thinking companies to bring this potential to life.”

Eduardo Gomez, head of CRH Ventures, detailed why CRH is exploring autonomous hauling tech at this stage.

“This pilot program with SafeAI aligns with our commitment to explore innovative solutions for more efficient and sustainable quarrying operations,” Gomez says. “We are excited to assess the potential of autonomous hauling technology in a controlled environment and the possibilities for future scaling.

“While this marks an important step in our exploration of autonomous hauling solutions, it’s crucial to clarify that, at this stage, CRH Ventures is focusing on piloting the technology before finalizing any strategic investments,” Gomez adds.

Luck Stone earlier this year unveiled plans with Caterpillar to explore autonomous hauling technology at its Bull Run Plants in Chantilly, Virginia.

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Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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