Earlier this year a McKinsey report linked poor financial performance by the construction and building technology industry to slow adoption of technology, noting that productivity has dropped over the last 30 years while rising in other industries.
However, we believe there are at least 5 innovations that are starting to disrupt civil infrastructure management., artificial Intelligence (AI) being a major one of them.
Technology can have a significant impact in improving infrastructure projects, that typically run on tight margins and high labor and material costs.
For example, the maintenance of civil infrastructure assets presents a number of challenges. Assets have to be maintained to a high level of availability and reliability, yet when maintenance visits are scheduled workers often travel long distances with little or no information on work required.
Reducing maintenance costs
McKinsey estimates that digital maintenance and reliability programs could increase asset availability by as much as 15% and reduce maintenance costs by up to a quarter. A key element in these programs is the use of artificial intelligence techniques to transform poorly organized historical data into a form more suitable for automated analysis.
Digital asset management tools help reliability teams plan and manage repair or replacement choices over the lifecycle of individual assets and support reliability-centred maintenance. This enables teams to choose the right maintenance strategy, for example planned preventative maintenance or condition-based maintenance.
Traditional inspection, repair and maintenance processes are reactive. Modern safety and operational regulations demand a proactive approach to fixing and preventing issues.
Reaping the benefits of AI
Applying AI in this area has tremendous potential benefits, including:
- Cost reduction through automation of repetitive tasks and processes
- Standardization across assets, issues and resolutions
- Digitization of all inspection and monitoring tasks in a single and open system
- Higher levels of service and increased safety through faster response times
- Automated alignment between reality and digital representation
A key challenge when implementing AI for infrastructure development and maintenance is ensuring that technology can work independently, to process data and make decisions in locations with limited network coverage. Over the next five years, IDC estimates that half of all computer vision and speech recognition models will work this way.
Technology is developing at a rapid pace. Knowing which trends to follow and which tools to integrate into your organization is crucial to obtaining a sustainable competitive advantage.
Digital transformation is enabling a whole new world of business models. You must choose what to do and how to shape the future of your organization wisely!
Learn about more technical innovations that will disrupt civil infrastructure management in our ebook.