FHWA exploring augmented reality for road construction
- The Federal Highway Administration has posted a notice seeking input on how augmented reality could be applied for construction management and quality control of the nation’s roadways, according to GCN.
- The notice calls for a study of how AR might improve infrastructure quality assurance and enhance project participant communications.
- The FHWA is also attempting to document the range of methods used to store, retrieve and archive big data in conjunction with the use of AR.
While researchers have begun to leverage the use of virtual reality for remote inspection of infrastructure, true AR analysis of the built environment is still in the nascent stages, with companies like Mortenson, Autodesk and Daqiri exploring the incorporation of mixed reality and BIM for as-built analysis, and a team including Microsoft and Trimble exploring a similar AR overlay to superimpose 4-D modeling over real-world assets.
With the incorporation of AR into highway quality assurance, the nation’s roadways are quickly becoming decidedly smart, highlighted by a 35-mile stretch of Interstate 33 in Ohio that is being used as a test bed for IoT-sensors, weather resistant materials science and autonomous vehicle proof-of-concept projects.
On display at ConExpo 2017’s Tech Experience were smart highway technologies that included solar-powered, glow-in-the-dark asphalt illumination; 3D-printed, roadway imbedded induction coils for charging electric vehicles; and systems that harness roadway vibrations to generate energy that can be transmitted to the grid.