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Autodesk to boost AI and machine learning via Pype buyout

3D design and engineering software publisher Autodesk is boosting its offering to industries such as construction with machine learning and AI from Pype.

Autodesk inked a deal to acquire the five-year-old Bengaluru, India based startup in late July for an undisclosed sum. According to Autodesk, Pype’s best-in-class submittals and project closeout software will strengthen Autodesk Construction Cloud in particular, targeting specialty contractors and the like to reduce risk and increase efficiency.

Andrew Anagnost, CEO of Autodesk, said: “Pype’s robust machine learning capabilities will empower Autodesk customers to connect workflows across the building lifecycle in new ways and optimise their businesses for long-term resiliency.”

Pype’s software allows construction companies to reduce the overall amount of manual information handling and data entry required – potentially reducing the concomitant human error leading to budget blowouts and delays, involved in the typical building project.

It can automatically analyse and extract critical construction data, such as plans and specifications that need to be referred to throughout the project. Customers include contractors such as Barton Malow, JE Dunn, McCarthy, Mortenson and Skanska.

Sunil Dorairajan, CEO and co-founder of Pype, said it had launched four widely adopted solutions thus far, each with a view to automating manual construction workflows for increased productivity and reduced risk.

“As part of Autodesk, we look forward to expanding these automated capabilities to ensure construction teams efficiently progress through projects, from design to closeout,” he said.

DPR Construction is one company that has used Pype to improve efficiency and workflow. For example, AutoSpecs enabled specification analysis, including export of the log to Excel for tracking, within a few days. This task would typically have taken weeks to do by hand, according to the published case study.

Context to the acquisition

Autodesk Construction Cloud enables distributed teams to collaborate on Autodesk design authoring tools. Pype integrations will include AutoSpecs for generating submittal logs, the Closeout dashboard, eBinder automation for indexing searchable closeout files, and SmartPlans for extracting submittals, product schedules and contract compliance requirements from drawings.

The Pype acquisition follows Assemble, BuildingConnected and PlanGrid into the Autodesk Construction Cloud roll-up of software and services.

Jim Lynch, vice president and general manager of construction solutions at Autodesk, said Pype’s software makes data actionable and collaborative, allowing teams to benefit from automated workflows and predictive analytics.

“Too many critical construction workflows are still performed manually by project teams, leading to inefficiencies and exposing companies to increased risk such as schedule delays and cost overruns,” Lynch said.

According to Autodesk’s Joe Speicher, writing in a blog post earlier this year on the company’s Future of Work initiative, new and emerging technologies such as AI are needed if society is to solve a whole range of complex problems. Advances in machine learning can contribute to solutions for climate change and disaster response as well as AI-generative design and learning tools.

The Pype transaction is expected to close during Autodesk‘s third quarter of fiscal 2021, ending 31 October 2020.

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