Hitachi Construction Machinery Signs Capital and Business Alliance Agreement with Japanese IoT Startup Aptpod
Joint development of systems for remote control and automatic operation of construction machinery using high-speed IoT platform
Tokyo, May 22, 2023 – Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (TSE: 6305 President and Executive Officer: Masafumi Senzaki, "Hitachi Construction Machinery") is pleased to announce that we invested in and signed a business alliance agreement with aptpod, Inc. (CEO: Junichi Sakamoto, "aptpod") in May. Going forward, Hitachi Construction Machinery will co-create real-time "digital twins*1" for construction site utilizing the high-speed IoT platform provided by aptpod and will develop systems for remote control and automatic operation of construction machinery using the digital twins.
*1: A technology which collects diverse types of data in the real world using IoT, etc. and recreates the real world in a virtual space. Changes in the real world are reflected in real-time in the information of the virtual space.
Hitachi Construction Machinery aims to realize construction sites with "collaborative safety" where people and machinery work "collaboratively" and both safety and productivity are improved by mutually sharing information about "people, machinery, and environments of the construction site." Specifically, by collecting various types of information, such as equipment location and operational status, worker location and biometric information, changes in terrain as work progress, and weather forecasts, the systems will alert people to pay attention and control automatic construction machinery so that we can ensure the safety of the site as a whole while implementing highly productive construction.
To realize such construction sites, digital twins, which recreate various types of information collected in the real world in a virtual space, are needed. However, achieving a digital twins has been difficult because the topology changes every second due to the operation of construction equipment at construction sites, a large volume of topology and other data must be transmitted and processed at high speed.
Aptpod's high-speed IoT platform "intdash" is capable of transmitting data generated at a high frequency of about 100 milliseconds to 1 millisecond intervals over the Internet at high speed and high capacity in a stable manner. Combining this technology with 5G and other next-generation high-speed communication technologies will enable the high volume of data which is constantly generated by construction machinery and construction sites to be collected and processed while constructing highly real-time digital twins.
Through the business alliance with aptpod, a company which possesses communication and software technologies for high-speed and high-capacity data transmission and processing, Hitachi Construction Machinery will tackle open innovation of systems of real-time digital twins for construction sites, systems for remote control and automatic operation of construction machinery using digital twins, and various valuable solutions for customers.
Thus far, the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group has collaborated with global business partners including those from different industries on the development of motorized construction machinery and ICT construction solutions, etc. Moreover, the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group has strengthened collaboration with startups through investing in funds offered by venture capital firms. Going forward, the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group will continue to tackle open innovation and create new values to provide reliable solutions that meet customer needs.
Comment from Kazunori Nakamura, Vice President and Executive Officer, CTO, Hitachi Construction Machinery; President of the Power & Info Control Platform Business Unit and Research & Development Group
Aptpod has technologies which are essential for the automatic operation of construction machinery at the "collaborative safety" sites which Hitachi Construction Machinery aspires to realize. We are extremely happy to be able to work with a partner who has world-leading, cutting-edge communication technologies. Through this capital and business alliance, we hope to work more closely with aptpod than ever before so that both companies may grow together.
Going forward, Hitachi Construction Machinery will promote open innovation to continue developing and providing products and solutions with social, environmental, and economic value to customers around the world.
Comment from Junichi Sakamoto, CEO aptpod, Inc.
In order to contribute to the digital transformation accelerating in various industrial fields such as automobiles, industrial machinery, and robots, our company developed and offered its own high-speed and highly real-time IoT technology. In the construction industry as well, the provision of next-generation applications aimed at safety and efficiency will become possible through the shift to remote operation as well as data collection and analysis by realizing the data networking of the entire construction field centered around the construction machinery and sensor system. Through this capital and business alliance, Hitachi Construction Machinery and aptpod will combine our technologies, and we will tackle the challenge of creating innovation aimed at future construction scenarios.
Overview of aptpod
|Company name||aptpod, Inc.|
|Business activities||M2M*2/IoT related software planning and development/sales
M2M/IoT cloud service operation
M2M/IoT related hardware planning and development/sales
|Representative||CEO: Junichi Sakamoto|
|Employees||65 people (as of the end of March 2023)|
*2："Machine to Machine" refers to the mutual exchange of information between machines over a communications network.
- "intdash" is a registered trademark of aptpod, Inc.
About Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (TSE: 6305), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a construction machinery manufacturer which globally deploys development, manufacturing, sales, and service businesses for its hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders, compaction equipment, and mining machinery, etc. In addition to its new machinery business, Hitachi Construction Machinery is expanding its "value chain businesses" of parts and services, remanufacturing (parts and machines), rentals, and used equipment as it aims to grow together with customers as a true solutions provider that offers innovative solutions to customers. With roughly 25,000 employees around the world, the consolidated sales revenue for Hitachi Construction Machinery was \1,279.5 billion for fiscal year 2022 (ended March 2023) with an overseas sales revenue ratio of 82%. For more details, please see the the company's website.
Information contained in this news release is current as of the date of the press announcement, but may be subject to change without prior notice.