The construction industry is experiencing an exciting era of rapid innovation.
Construction equipment manufacturers are now incorporating technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, and machine learning into their machines.
To think of it, this was just a pipe dream a decade ago, but it’s now slowly becoming a reality. Here are some of the most notable technological developments in the construction industry to watch out for:
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) systems can collate and analyze multiple streams of data from a job workflow much quicker than humans. This cuts the time needed to get the clearest picture of issues on a job site. The AI will monitor the project’s progress with real-time, actionable data to improve the productivity of the job site.
AI technologies, when used in construction projects, can help project engineers, supervisors – basically anyone involved in the projects.
The managers and supervisors will be able to get quick alerts on any issues detected by the AI, so corrective measures can be taken fast. In turn, this will reduce the likelihood of problems and cost escalation in the project.
Augmented and virtual reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are emerging technologies that will have a significant impact on the construction industry. AR is the enrichment of real-world environments by laying down digital objects on top of your live view of a physical space.
Meanwhile, VR provides a “full-immersion” experience that allows project stakeholders to engage and interact with the design of their projects in ways that aren’t possible with 2D drawings, 3D CAD drawings, and scale models.
How will this work, you might ask?
Now imagine an architect or a contractor being able to work onto a project site, holding up a smartphone or a tablet, with the camera facing the location of the proposed building and being able to see a full-scale model of the building on the screen before doing any work.
This visualization will allow architects to provide owners with a real-life insight into the details and design of the project.
Autonomous drones and self-driving machines are slowly a reality.
For years, heavy equipment manufacturers like have been adding automation to their machines. The mining industry has been taking advantage of this new wave of self-driving equipment.
Over the years, different mining companies have opted to operate in a controlled environment, reducing the risk for miners, drivers, and other machine operators.
For example, Cat’s autonomous fleet of Cat 793F trucks is being utilized in more mining complexes. ;
With this shift towards autonomous vehicles, it won’t be too far until we see more self-driving excavators, bulldozers, backhoes, and diggers on the market.
Drones and robots
Drones are being used in job sites in a variety of ways.
They can take photos of the site as work progresses. Because of this ability, they can assist contractors in conducting site inspections and identifying potential hazards.
Robots, on the other hand, are being utilized to do simple, repetitive tasks, like bricklaying and tying rebars. These robots can work faster than human workers. Also, robots require little rest than their human counterparts.
You can expect the construction industry to be more technologically-advanced in the coming years.
More firms are continuously researching and implementing construction technology to increase the productivity of job sites, allowing faster project turnarounds and more efficient work processes.