SafeAI has announced a major global expansion of its autonomous solutions business with entry into two new countries, Japan and India.
With new offices and growing local teams in both markets, the company says it is poised to significantly accelerate the rollout of autonomous equipment across heavy industry, worldwide.
Both Japan and India represent tremendous opportunities for growth with large heavy equipment markets. Japan, in particular, boasts a massive construction sector, recently estimated at a value of more than $530 billion, SafeAI said.
Already, SafeAI has a successful year-long partnership with Japanese construction company Obayashi. The two companies are currently retrofitting an autonomous Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck to complete load-haul-dump cycles.
India, meanwhile, has a construction industry worth more than $35 billion and a significant mining sector that produces 95 minerals and has an export value of approximately $4 billion, it said.
To support this continued global growth, SafeAI has also announced four new leaders to its team:
- Dr Ryo Hiratsuka, SafeAI’s Japan Country Head, will oversee initiatives from the new office in Tokyo. Hiratsuka brings over 20 years of experience developing Japanese markets for start-up companies, including Cisco, HP (former Colubris Networks) which deployed Wi-Fi on airplanes, trains and cruiser ships, and Hexagon (former Romax Technology) focused on the electrification of cars and trucks. Prior to joining SafeAI, he served as the Japan Sales Manager of Quectel for V2X, telematics and location tracking technology across a number of industries;
- Sudarshan Singh joins the team as the India Country Head to oversee operations at the new office in New Delhi. Singh brings over 30 years of executive leadership experience to the role, including 14 years at Caterpillar, where he launched the company’s India operations, expanded product offerings and the used machinery business and ultimately led the Asia-Pacific region. Singh also spent time at DEUTZ AG, where he expanded India operations with OEMs and defence projects, and at the SANY Group, where he grew the company’s footprint in India, with a focus on manufacturing concrete and construction machinery;
- Lisa McGinty joins the team in the US as Global Head of Marketing. McGinty brings over 30 years of growth, marketing and branding experience across multiple industries to the role. Most recently, she was an early stage growth executive at FreightWaves, a global digital news, data and software as a service company focused on transportation and logistics; and
- Rob Reid joins SafeAI’s growing Australia team as Principal Autonomy Engineer. Over the last 15 years, Reid has built autonomous solutions for a variety of applications, ranging from space to the energy industry, and gained experience across a range of technical areas, including mobility, perception, planning and controls and machine learning. Prior to joining SafeAI, Reid was the Principal Robotics Engineer at Woodside Energy, deploying robots at oil and gas facilities, and a Robotics Engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for four years.
“Companies across heavy industry, and across the world, are eager to deploy autonomous solutions for safer, more productive sites,” Bibhrajit Halder, Founder and CEO of SafeAI, said. “To meet this skyrocketing demand, we need both the geographic reach and the expertise to meet our customers where they are and ensure a successful deployment. Lisa, Ryo, Sudarshan and Rob all bring invaluable experience to guide our team through the next chapter.”
This expansion comes on the heels of a busy year for SafeAI’s growing business that has also included launching in Canada and Australia, securing a $21 million Series A round and launching an industry-first operating system.