5G set to revolutionise the construction industry
We reveal how the use of 5G ‘network slicing’ could bring significant benefits to the construction industry
5G has already made its way to the construction industry in 2020. Earlier in the year, we detailed China State Construction Engineering Corp’s (CSCEC) which was the first site to utilise the technology in the nation.
The site has brought a plethora of benefits to on-site construction through the adoption of innovative technologies such as AI, building information modelling (BIM) and big data.
5G’s ‘network slicing’ capability allows communication service providers to tailor connectivity services to precise requirements of a given app, user, device or context.
Successful on-site monitoring requires effective tracking of health, location, status and specifications of all objects and people. 5G is expected to enable better data collection, capture and analysis in many different areas. An example of this includes the status of site machinery, and whether it’s available for use.
Thanks to high bandwidth, combined with the very low latency that 5G offers, the technology is set to improve data capture significantly across various project delivery processes.
Thanks to 5G and digital transformation as a whole, more and more cutting edge technologies are being introduced to the construction industry which will enable the industry to see more IoT and reality-capture solutions utilised on-site.
These new technologies have the ability to provide real-time visual information to the owner in addition to an on-demand transparent view of the project at any particular moment in time.
5G network slicing can also provide even more benefits to the construction industry.
Burcin Kaplanoglu, Executive Director, Innovation Officer at Oracle, “network slicing enables communication service providers to tailor connectivity services to the precise requirements of any given application, user, device, or context.”
In order for 5G to work effectively on-site, connectivity is vital to ensure information is captured and available at all times, whenever needed.
As a result of this, bandwidth could be set to become a potential battleground on site which highlights the need for tiered prioritisation.
Different access points and levels for specific use-cases will be required. Kaplanoglu estimates that a tiered prioritisation strategy that considers safety, security, and bandwidth at different phases of a construction project could be implemented.
Regardless of how 5G will weave itself round construction sites across the globe, the advantages of 5G and ‘network slicing’ opens up many new possibilities for engineering and construction businesses. Benefits such as better safety, mitigation of risk and a reduction of security concerns could all be useful benefits thanks to the technology.
SafeAI attracts $21m funding as SmartMix AI tool launches
SafeAI is driving the transformation of the mining and construction industries through connected, autonomous sites. With chronic labour shortages, unsafe working conditions and frequent project delays, these industries are in a unique position to benefit from autonomy.
Unlike on-road applications of the technology, autonomous heavy equipment operates in controlled environments, which means companies can create smarter, safer, more productive project sites today that create meaningful, near-term impact.
“We are at a tipping point for autonomous heavy equipment,” said Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO at SafeAI. “We’ve proven that autonomy makes work sites significantly safer and more productive; now, we are on the cusp of mass adoption. Together with our valued partners, customers and investors, we’re poised to deploy autonomy in off-road industries like construction and mining, at scale, to rethink the way heavy industry operates.”
Heavy industry is a large, growing global market, ripe for disruption. The construction equipment market alone is valued at $140 billion, and expected to increase to $175 billion by 2025; construction-related spending accounts for a staggering 13% of global GDP, or $11.5 trillion.
But there remains significant room for growth; in construction alone, higher productivity could create an estimated $1.6 trillion in additional value. With just 25% of the infrastructure needed by 2050 in existence today, autonomy can bridge this productivity gap with greater efficiency and 24/7 operations. SafeAI is at the forefront of this transformation.
“There’s a tremendous amount of excitement in the autonomy space today; but it’s clear the biggest opportunity for this technology is off-road,” said Mark Blackwell, General Partner at Builders VC. “With its industry-leading autonomous software, scalable retrofit approach and partner ecosystem, SafeAI is uniquely poised to capitalize on this opportunity. We’re proud to support the company in its next chapter of growth as demand for autonomous heavy equipment continues to skyrocket.”
New investors LTC, DG Ventures, MACA and Vimson Group, and existing investors Autotech Ventures, Brick and Mortar Ventures, Embark Ventures, Monta Vista Capital and Obayashi Corporation, also participated in the round. The funding comes on the heels of a year of rapid growth for SafeAI, including new partnerships with Obayashi, Goodyear and Macnica, and expansion into Australia’s booming mining market.
A pilot program with Obayashi Corporation last November saw a Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck autonomously complete a vital on-site function and carry out load-haul-dump cycles.
Giatec debuts SmartMix AI tool
Giatec has debuted what it claims is the world's first concrete AI tool for producers, SmartMix. The web-based AI tool allows producers to optimise concrete ingredient proportions, reduce cement usage, and predict the performance of their mixes while still meeting project specifications.
Giatec believes this tool will lower Greenhouse Gas emissions resulting from concrete production by 400 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking 110 million cars off the road.
SmartMix builds on Giatec's first AI software program Roxi, which has collected millions of data points from the company's SmartRock wireless concrete sensors across 8,000 projects and 80 countries.
Giatec's head of research and development, Andrew Fahim, said the new technologies are going to pave the path forward for the industry to meet increasing infrastructure demands.