Strategic R&D cooperation agreement between Lextan and Bouygues Construction
Lextan, a specialist in remote driving systems, and Bouygues Construction have signed a three-year cooperation agreement to carry out a Research & Development programme on remote and assisted driving of construction site machines. In parallel with this agreement, Lextan is raising seed capital through Construction Venture, Bouygues Construction's investment vehicle for start-ups, alongside CAAP Création, a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole Alpes Provence, and the French Tech Seed fund managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the French government, which will enable it to increase its equity and reinforce its R&D team.
This cooperation has already resulted in the development of a project for operating a crane from the ground, which forms part of a Bouygues Construction R&D programme led by Bouygues Construction Matériel. It seeks to offer crane drivers video assistance, augmented reality and even a degree of automation. Lextan proved that its technology makes remote crane operation possible during an initial experimental phase successfully carried out using a crane. A demonstrator will be brought into service on a construction site during 2021. The solution will also feature driving assistance with video object recognition and an interactive dashboard.
Patrick N'Kodia, Director of Bouygues Construction Matériel, said: "While thinking about the alternatives to the crane lift, compulsory for all cranes above thirty metres since January 2019, we worked with Lextan on operating the crane from the ground. As we were exploring this subject, we realised there were many other advantages."
The many smart and connected functions of this system are designed to control construction site machines in a different way from today by simplifying the work of drivers in complete safety, increasing their abilities through new functions and thereby contributing to the industrialisation of construction sites. The aim of the cooperation between Lextan and Bouygues Construction is to implement these new remote driving systems over the next three years.
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