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.