Our ability to adapt to and integrate pioneering technologies is critical to the success of infastructure. Based on the expertise of our thought leaders, here are the top 10 technologies that will have the largest impact on civil infrastructure in the coming years.
Top Ten Tech: Upcoming Technologies to Impact the Infrastructure Space
This foundational technology enables communities to build faster, more connected infrastructure systems. 5-G enabled phones are just the start, the real leap forward is yet to come -- true peer-to-peer communication, which will open the door for emerging tech like autonomous vehicles.
Steve Ingracia, COO
Real-time GIS data set updates using high accuracy GPS systems are a game changer when it comes to data collection and asset management as it allows for data contributors/managers to make in-the-field updates and removes time-intensive, in-office workflows. There's no uploading, downloading, or drafting, the data is just there.
Joe Sather, Survey Project Manager
Mobile LiDAR Scanning is changing the way we approach surveying. It allows us to collect project data faster and with unprecedented precision and accuracy -- all while making the practice of roadway surveying safer. With so much more data collected, the question is not when this technology will be embedded into our survey workflow, but rather, how will DOTs and communities take advantage of this evolving technology?
Shawn Graves, Project Manager
As transportation and technology merge in the coming years, we would expect significant improvements in mobility with reduced crashes and enhanced operations. There's never been a more exciting time to work in transportation.
Lonnie Burklund, Traffic and Technology Department Leader
3D project visuals have grown from being a marketing tool for glamorous projects to an integral part of how modern infrastructure firms design, collaborate, and communicate during project design. This trend will only grow as 3D visuals continue to intersect with the progression of GIS, BIM systems, and AR/VR in their own respective adoption paths.
Brad Wilken, Visual Senior Specialist
This is what makes AI and machine learning so compelling: the ability to take larger, more complex data sets and apply algorithms that can, without bias, interpret them with better precision. All of this opens new doors for us to improve designs, optimize maintenance, and monitor risks for the future.
Travis Klasna, Strategic Opportunity Manager
The implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) technology is already transforming the way utilities manage water. Not only are water quality standards ensured with connected devices, but the real-time data and alerts they provide can reduce technician workloads and help recognize operational inefficiencies.
Jason Peek, Water Resources Project Manager
Drones have grown into a important documentation tool for environmental reporting and permitting. Flying a project site enables us to capture a more comprehensive picture of the vegetative communities and hydrologic conditions. They also help our team show a distinct before and after comparison for a project -- clearly demonstrating the return on investment.
Mike Heller, Environmental Sciences Department Leader
More municipalities than ever are migrating from legacy desktop GIS to cloud-based offerings. Cloud-based GIS makes critical facility, maintenance data, and asset management more transparent and accessible than ever before. It’s also helped communities transition from a place where one or two individuals possess critical knowledge, to one where institutional knowledge is shared and updated by the group.
Mike Frates, GIS Manager
There will be a notable shift from needing technology to choosing technology to support meaningful community engagement, including the intentional selection of virtual tools.
Andrea Gebhart, Community Engagement Department Manager