Caterpillar has formed a new Analytics & Innovation (AI) division to develop understanding of the wealth of data generated by modern construction equipment. The company says it will take this massive amount of data and combine it with scientific techniques to spot patterns that will help save customers money by optimising performance and preventing unplanned downtime.

The division will be led by Caterpillar vice president Greg Folley and will work with third-party companies such as Chicago, US-based Uptake. Caterpillar recently announced a technology and predictive analytics agreement with this start-up company. Caterpillar says it will co-locate key employees with Uptake in Chicago.

The company also plans to put resources into Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay area of California, US and says it and has put money into a venture capital fund with the goal of investing in emerging technologies that could further enhance its product and service development.

Rob Charter, Caterpillar group president with responsibility for the customer and dealer support (C&DS division) said, “A huge opportunity for competitive advantage lies in the analytics and innovation space, and we have a unique opportunity to connect data from the broadest product line that cuts across multiple industries.

"We can transform the mountains of incoming data – from a single machine or engine, an entire job site, the supply chain, a shipping location and much more – into valuable information for our customers and suppliers more efficiently and effectively than anyone else.”

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