Dynamic Infrastructure aims to assist America rebuild its dilapidated bridges

Infrastructure bill, passed last week by the congress, delivers $200 billion over 5 years for the renewal of bridges, roads, railways and airports. This is the largest government investment in infrastructure at the last 100 years, arriving after decades of neglecting the infrastructures by the American government, which led to deterioration in the state of infrastructure across the United States.

According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) report, more than 200,000 bridges, about 36% of all US bridges, are structurally deficient and in poor condition which requires repair and renewal. According to the association, the estimated total cost to repair the bridges infrastructure is estimated at $41.8 billion. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimated, according to a research published earlier this year that the failing infrastructure status costs families about $3,300 a year, as a result of traffic jams, road detours due to bridges being closed, fuel waste and public transportation deficient.

In the next years, the Infrastructure Bill’s financial allocations are expected to gradually permeate to the different countries and the municipal authorities, and later to the engineering and construction companies that will carry out the projects. One of the Israeli companies interested in taking part at the technological aspects of the national infrastructure renewal is Dynamic Infrastructure Company, the developer of an AI based cloud platform that provides insights regarding the maintenance level of bridges and road infrastructures based on visual input only.  

The company’s platform uses all the visual information gathered by the periodical inspections at the site, to include phone photographs, aerial photographs taken by drones, laser scans and alike – and composes a detailed 3D picture of the structure. The system constantly compares the current state of the structure to previous states, and detects cracks, defects and anomalies which requires preventive maintenance and automatically generates alerts for the asset operators. 

Saar Dickman, CEO & co-founder at Dynamic Infrastructure, says to Techtime that the industry is being preparing for the Infrastructure Bill for a while. “I believe that in one or two years, just after the budgets will go through the bureaucracy pipes, we will start to see a flood of projects initiatives. Already now we are facing great tailwind to the industry. Construction and engineering companies are being prepared and are equipped with the required technologies. There are quite a few contacts with municipalities, engineering bodies, counties and the like that show interest in our technology and how it may assist them in utilizing the budgets at the optimal level and properly prioritize the labor according to the maintenance level at the field”.

Currently, Dynamic Infrastructure operates in the USA under a local company, where the main activities are focus in the state of Maryland. The company cooperates with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDoT) to map the maintenance level of infrastructure assets under the responsibility of MDoT. Using Dynamic Infrastructure’s system, hundreds of assets have been scanned. Earlier this year the company had started to cooperate with another federal body – the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), a body in charge of the state infrastructure assets operated by Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), such as toll lanes.

Dikcman says: “Each state has tens of thousands of infrastructure assets under its responsibility, all of them produce a lot of data that cannot be managed manually, and thus they are incapable of being properly prioritizing resources allocations. For this reason, the maintenance mode nowadays is mainly breakdown maintenance, so they face defects in advanced condition. Our platform makes it possible to operate in a preventive maintenance mode and detect defects in the initial stages”.

“There are quite a few technologies in the preventive maintenance area, but they are highly expensive and complex. Our technology offers completely new approach, something like Google Photos. The asset manager is merely required to upload the asset’s scans and photos collection to the cloud, without sorting or classifying them, and let our AI process the information and produce insights”.

Dynamic Infrastructure, founded in 2017 and operates from Tel-Aviv, New-York and Berlin, is already involved in private and public projects throughout USA, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Israel. The company estimates that using its platform, operators of tens of thousands of assets managed to significantly reduce their operations expenses and financial investments.

Dynamic Infrastructure announced first contract in Australia

The New York, Berlin and Tel Aviv based startup Dynamic Infrastructure has won its first contract in Australia and will deploy a novel AI-driven predictive technology for maintaining dozens of bridges and infrastructure assets in Horsham Rural City Council in the state of Victoria.

Dynamic Infrastructure has teamed up with the Australian engineering and consulting firm IF3 Pty Ltd, to win the contract to provide the council with a multi-year maintenance license. Dynamic Infrastructure estimates that Australia will become a major market for its SaaS product.

The use of Dynamic Infrastructure’s SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) product translates into huge annual savings for the owners, operation and maintenance engineers, and contractors. Dynamic Infrastructure’s AI-based decision support product automatically processes past and current inspection reports’ photos and other existing visuals, identifying future maintenance risks and evolving defects. The proprietary technology provides live, cloud-based, risk analysis of any bridge or tunnel and automatically alerts when changes are detected in maintenance and operating conditions – before they develop into large-scale failures.

Horsham is an important contract as the region is located along the A8 National Highway from Melbourne to Adelaide. The multi-year contract involves all major infrastructure assets in the region and is viewed as a proving ground for Dynamic Infrastructure’s SaaS product to enable the regional council to reduce direct and indirect maintenance costs by using the world’s first deep-learning solution for maintaining bridges and tunnels.

Sydney based IF3 is a design and engineering supplier of specialist technical services for companies and organizations in the construction and mining fields to provide bespoke solutions to design and engineering challenges.

According to Austroads, the collective of the Australian and New Zealand transport agencies, Australian bridges which were built decades ago are subject to an additional load of about 5.6% annually. The annual maintenance expense for 33,500 bridges in Australia is estimated to cost around 100 million Australian dollars and the replacement cost of potentially faulty bridges could run to billions of dollars.

To tackle the large number of old and deteriorating bridges in Australia, the Australian Government has initiated the Bridges Renewal Program. The initiative funds the upgrade and replacement of bridges to improve access for local communities and facilitate better vehicle access. On 29 September 2020, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, announced funding for 205 projects.

“Australia is making enormous efforts to use new technologies to manage and maintain its transportation network. These moves offer huge potential for our company due to their sheer size and large number of infrastructure assets that need to be maintained,” said Saar Dickman, CEO of Dynamic Infrastructure. He adds that the company hopes to close other licensing agreements in various parts of Australia in the coming months.

Dynamic Infrastructure is currently conducting projects in various states in the U.S. as well as in Germany, Greece and Israel with private and public civil infrastructure owners and operators. The company’s clients operate a total of 30,000 assets, ranging from national, state, regional and municipal departments of transportation to Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and private companies.

Photograph above: Joseph Sohm

Suffolk County, NY, and Dynamic Infrastructure to maintain dozens of bridges through AI

The New York, Berlin and Tel Aviv based startup Dynamic Infrastructure is expanding its pilot project with the Public Works Department of New York’s Suffolk County using the world’s first deep-learning solution which allows bridge and tunnel owners and operators to obtain visual diagnosis of assets they manage in order to reduce direct and indirect maintenance costs. After the successful completion of a pilot involving one bridge, the parties have agreed to expand the use of the AI-based technology to 74 bridges in the county located on the eastern end of Long Island. Deployment of the technology is currently in process.

Dynamic Infrastructure is currently conducting projects in other states in the U.S. as well as in Germany, Switzerland, Greece, and Israel with private and public transportation bodies. The company’s clients operate a total of 30,000 assets, ranging from national, state, regional and municipal departments of transportation to Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and private companies.

“The latest project expansion aims to use our technology to cover the entire inventory by Q2 2021,” said Saar Dickman, Co-founder, and CEO of Dynamic Infrastructure. He added that Suffolk County is typical of the situation in the US at large, where data from the Federal Highway Administration deemed that approximately 30% of all bridges in the US were in fair or poor condition.

AI-based bridge maintenance

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, which evaluates and publishes a report card on the U.S. infrastructure every four years, the country’s infrastructure was given a D+ grade and more than 56,000 bridges were classified as being “structurally deficient”.

The aim in the deployment in Suffolk County is to enable its Public Works Department to better coordinate and make the right decisions by prioritizing maintenance of its infrastructure assets. “The system allows any operator, inspector or maintenance engineer to have actionable intelligence at their fingertips in order to decide if, when and how the daily maintenance and  maintenance projects should be conducted, by supplying instant alerts about anomalies,” said Kevin Reigrut, member of Dynamic Infrastructure’s board of advisors and former executive director of the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The use of the novel technology translates into a huge annual savings for the Owners, and Operation and Maintenance engineers, and contractors. Dynamic Infrastructure’s AI-based, decision making, SaaS product continuously processes past and current inspection reports and visuals, identifying future maintenance risks and evolving defects. The proprietary technology provides live, cloud-based, risk analysis of any bridge or tunnel and automatically alerts when changes are detected in maintenance and operating conditions—before they develop into large-scale failures.

The platform creates a “visual medical record” for each asset, based on existing images taken from past and current inspection reports and interim inspections. The visual analysis is being done to any visual source, be it smartphones, drones, and laser scanning. The images are compared and serve as the basis for alerts on changes in maintenance conditions. They can be easily accessed through a simple browser and instantly shared with peers and contractors to speed maintenance workflows and improve budget expenditure.

Dynamic Infrastructure harnesses the power of AI to disrupt Operation & Maintenance of critical transportation assets. Founded by industry professionals with decades of operation and maintenance experience for PPPs and DOTs, Dynamic Infrastructure has become an industry leader and key driver of a data revolution in decision-making processes related to bridge and tunnel Operations & Maintenance. Headquartered in New York, NY, with offices in Germany and Israel, Dynamic Infrastructure maintains a close relationship with its clients.