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The Internet of Things (IoT), which was once exclusively discussed and debated in laboratories, think tanks, and technology corporations, has now become a mainstream notion. Rapid urbanisation, diminishing demand, and a shortage of capital availability had already brought the infrastructure industry to a point of global upheaval. The COVID-19 pandemic added to this making it even more challenging for the sector. The infrastructure industry is now becoming more reliant on digital transformation to ensure long-term viability. Almost every aspect of infrastructure is being revolutionised by technology. IoT is generating waves in the infrastructure industry by providing solutions for improving road safety, streamlining traffic management, logistics, mapping use cases, and even supporting future-focused efforts like smart cities.

In terms of using digital technology to enhance operations and realise efficiencies, the construction sector has generally trailed behind other industries.

oT as a great opportunity

IoT and telematics are having significant impact and in construction sector, especially where legacy systems aren’t easy to replace. One of the biggest challenge for many Construction companies, fleet operators and large OEMs is the challenge of efficiently deploying, managing and monitoring the entire fleet of vehicles and machines in the most efficient manner.

A robust data basis is needed for planning and this becomes a major bottleneck for organisations due to the diversified fleet of vehicles, models and machines with different manufacturers.

Modern construction machines need to embrace modern technologies. A comprehensive IoT platform focussing on telematics and Traceability solutions with complete analytics on various operational parameters, machine performance will be of immense support here.

The sophistication of key technologies for attaining these aims is continuously increasing. Drones can create 3D models of building sites, calculate the area and volume of land to be moved, schedule the job, and even drive autonomous onsite construction equipment using machine learning. Drones are also used for diagnostic purposes, such as evaluating difficult-to-reach areas like pipelines and sub-level infrastructure.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is capable of enhancing the efficiency of project construction and delivery. Advanced sensors can now be put on transportation infrastructure to capture real-time data that allows the production of digital twins for ongoing projects, thanks to the significant increase in bandwidth given by 5G networks.

Many operations slowed or came to a complete halt during the epidemic. In order to achieve project deadlines and remain competitive, mixed fleet operators will need to enhance their efficiency. It’s critical to have a scalable, stable, and adaptable IoT cloud platform, especially when any outage can cause project delays and even client loss. When organisations are operating under tight deadlines, telematics may be an effective solution, not only in commercial operations but also in new regulations to maintain employee wellbeing. These systems allow managers to prioritise maintenance and leverage diagnostic data from effects such as engine difficulties, excessive hours of usage, or other unusual vehicle occurrences or situations to prioritise repair. Demand analysis may be used to determine whether routes and route segments are over-served or under-served, therefore enhancing both the customer experience and the driver’s work.

The IoT infrastructure industry is expected to develop due to rising investments in smart city initiatives throughout the world. Smart cities provide a variety of connection and computing alternatives that may be added to an existing system to improve efficiency. These technologies are used to address problems in municipal transportation, energy management, and construction. Cities that use IoT solutions may leverage technology and data to enhance infrastructure and services. The growing demand for optimal resource usage in metropolitan settings has accelerated industrial adoption.

The infrastructure industry would be revolutionized by digitalization. It will result in rethinking of business strategies, reimagining of our customer offering, and a change in the kind of employment opportunties in infrastructure. For businesses to benefit from it, digital transformation cannot be limited to a single team – it must be implemented across the board. In order to maximise the benefits, it must be extended all the way to the supply chain.

Infrastructure and construction companies are increasingly being pressed to reduce their environmental impact. This will pave way for better resource management as well as waste reduction and CO2 emissions. It will also be critical that we build infrastructure that is more efficient in the long run. Emerging technology can aid in the development of new building materials that are more environmentally friendly, have a lower carbon footprint, and are more durable, resulting in less waste and less frequent replacement or upgrading, such as transparent insulating gels that can be used on buildings with a large number of windows.

The rate of digital transformation is only going to accelerate. To deliver the infrastructure of the future, we must adapt to and accept change. It will transform infrastructure and construction, requiring the sector to anticipate and react fast, becoming more imaginative and less opposed to taking risks. As new technology, business models, and opportunities and ideas emerge, we must be ready to welcome them. However, we must be prepared to weigh the rewards against the hazards. Companies at the vanguard of the digital transformation that integrate new technology most efficiently and update their company activities and products will reap the most benefits. Digital transformation is no different, and it should now be the standard.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Balaji Kandregula

Quelle/Source: Construction Week, 04.06.2022

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