Aug 20, 2020

Brigade Electronics: upping safety for overnight roadworks

Health & Safety
Infrastructure
Working Conditions
Technology
Dan Weatherley
3 min
Roadworks
As night-time roadworks and improvements continue to become more common, we explore how safety can be improved...

Nighttime road works hold many advantages for using the road network. They minimize disruption whilst reducing diversions. Despite this, there’s an issue with safety among workers which needs to be addressed.

Not only does poor visibility increase potential hazards and the risk of injury, but worker fatigue can also result in serious injury or even death during nighttime hours. This could be as a result of incorrectly using machinery or the inability to see and react to moving vehicles.

The construction industry is well known as one of the world’s most dangerous fields of work to be employed in. It’s been revealed that over half of incidents happen within the work zone and most of these involve an injury or death involving a moving vehicle.

It has been suggested that blind spots on vehicles is one of the major contributing factors to injury whilst working at night, dusty worksites and bad weather also contribute to this issue. The inability to hear approaching vehicles can also be a large problem for those who are required to wear a form of hearing protection.

Global leader in vehicle safety systems, Brigade Electronics. Has unveiled a range of products in efforts to increase visibility and overall safety whilst working on-site at night.

Advanced camera monitoring systems offered by the company, such as its VBC-300C unit, is a flush-mount side-view camera which offers useful blind spot coverage so drivers can look our for other employees or objects which they may be unable to see without the aid.

A system can also be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle which is able to alert the driver of the presence of workers or vulnerable road users.

Meanwhile, the SS-BC-08 speaking alarm system is an “audible vehicle manoeuvring warning to warn vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left”.

One of the companies award-winning solutions is the Backeye®360 which, as the title suggests, provides a comprehensive 360 view of the surroundings of the vehicle, making any hazards or workers totally visible, even in complete darkness thanks to the high-specification, HD camera technology.

Corey Heniser, CEO of Brigade Electronics, said: "Worksites present a number of challenges when it comes to visibility. Not only are they dusty and dirty places to be, but when this is combined with nighttime hours or difficult weather conditions, it can become increasingly dangerous for construction workers to be spotted by those operating moving vehicles.” 

He then said: “Active safety systems are therefore crucial to assisting drivers and enhancing safety for workers operating in these conditions. This is why we always recommend that a combination of both passive and active systems, such as cameras and alarms, are fitted to vehicles for the ultimate safety solution."

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Jun 23, 2021

SafeAI attracts $21m funding as SmartMix AI tool launches

AI
Technology
Autonomoustrucks
funding
Dominic Ellis
3 min
News of SafeAI's new funding to develop connected, autonomous sites follows Giatec's launch of SmartMix AI tool

SafeAI has announced $21 million in Series A funding led by Builders VC which will accelerate R&D and fuel global expansion to meet rising demand for autonomous heavy equipment.

SafeAI is driving the transformation of the mining and construction industries through connected, autonomous sites. With chronic labour shortages, unsafe working conditions and frequent project delays, these industries are in a unique position to benefit from autonomy.

Unlike on-road applications of the technology, autonomous heavy equipment operates in controlled environments, which means companies can create smarter, safer, more productive project sites today that create meaningful, near-term impact.

“We are at a tipping point for autonomous heavy equipment,” said Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO at SafeAI. “We’ve proven that autonomy makes work sites significantly safer and more productive; now, we are on the cusp of mass adoption. Together with our valued partners, customers and investors, we’re poised to deploy autonomy in off-road industries like construction and mining, at scale, to rethink the way heavy industry operates.”

Heavy industry is a large, growing global market, ripe for disruption. The construction equipment market alone is valued at $140 billion, and expected to increase to $175 billion by 2025; construction-related spending accounts for a staggering 13% of global GDP, or $11.5 trillion.

But there remains significant room for growth; in construction alone, higher productivity could create an estimated $1.6 trillion in additional value. With just 25% of the infrastructure needed by 2050 in existence today, autonomy can bridge this productivity gap with greater efficiency and 24/7 operations. SafeAI is at the forefront of this transformation.

“There’s a tremendous amount of excitement in the autonomy space today; but it’s clear the biggest opportunity for this technology is off-road,” said Mark Blackwell, General Partner at Builders VC. “With its industry-leading autonomous software, scalable retrofit approach and partner ecosystem, SafeAI is uniquely poised to capitalize on this opportunity. We’re proud to support the company in its next chapter of growth as demand for autonomous heavy equipment continues to skyrocket.”

New investors LTCDG VenturesMACA and Vimson Group, and existing investors Autotech VenturesBrick and Mortar VenturesEmbark VenturesMonta Vista Capital and Obayashi Corporation, also participated in the round. The funding comes on the heels of a year of rapid growth for SafeAI, including new partnerships with ObayashiGoodyear and Macnica, and expansion into Australia’s booming mining market. 

A pilot program with Obayashi Corporation last November saw a Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck autonomously complete a vital on-site function and carry out load-haul-dump cycles.

Giatec debuts SmartMix AI tool

Giatec has debuted what it claims is the world's first concrete AI tool for producers, SmartMixThe web-based AI tool allows producers to optimise concrete ingredient proportions, reduce cement usage, and predict the performance of their mixes while still meeting project specifications.

Giatec believes this tool will lower Greenhouse Gas emissions resulting from concrete production by 400 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking 110 million cars off the road.

SmartMix builds on Giatec's first AI software program Roxi, which has collected millions of data points from the company's SmartRock wireless concrete sensors across 8,000 projects and 80 countries.

Giatec's head of research and development, Andrew Fahim, said the new technologies are going to pave the path forward for the industry to meet increasing infrastructure demands.

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