Construction sites are some of the most dangerous places in the world. Couple a job site with the general public and they’re disasters waiting to happen. According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, 579 people were killed in highway work-zone related accidents in just 2013 alone. Equipment, machines, and clothing are becoming “smarter” every day, even things we never thought about as technology, such as the recent development of the smart hard hat. Tapping into technology allows users greater and easier access to ever important data and, in some instances, safer work environments.
Professor Tom Martin and Kristen Hines, engineers at Virginia Tech, hope to greatly reduce that number with their recent development of a smart safety vest that gives several seconds of warning to workers if danger is approaching. With their creation of the InZone Alert system, workers can be alerted by flashing light, audible alarms, or physical alarms, such as vibrations or compression of your clothing if a car is approaching too quickly or too closely. The researchers’ goal is to create alerts that are distinctive, but won’t startle the user.
With the ever improving technology of vehicles, the Virginia Tech team also hopes to integrate communication between the vest and cars driving by with the use of short range radio signals. That would add to the safety features of the vest by also alerting the driver of the vehicle that they are in immediate danger of causing an accident.
Initial tests of the InZone Alert system have wielded success rates of 90 percent. The higher the percentage, the better, because frequent false alarms would result in users ignoring the alarms or greatly reducing job site productivity. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been conducting testing of the vest on the Virginia Smart Road in Blacksburg, VA, which is a closed course test road for research purposes.
Check out the video of the smart vest below!
FULL STORY: RESEARCHERS' PROTOTYPE VEST OFFERS A WARNING SYSTEM FOR ROADSIDE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, RESCUE PERSONNEL | Virginia Tech
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PlanGrid users who have been wanting the ability to add additional documents to their field reports within the platform now have the ability to do so with a recent update.
Last summer, Tesla announced that the first of their solar roof tiles had been installed on test houses. However, as has become customary with many Tesla products, the company is experiencing significant manufacturing delays.
Procore, one of the country’s most popular construction project management software, has officially launched the first product in their newest platform: Field Productivity. The newest platform joins Procore’s 3 other existing platforms: Project Management, Quality & Safety, and Construction Financials.
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Whether you’re looking to begin using software for the first time or update your current system, here are some ways that software can help improve your company in 2018:
Picture documentation is arguably one of the most important aspects of a construction project. They can help communicate a story, catch mistakes, and assist in warranty calls. In the past, pictures only told part of the story, because they were two dimensional and often impossible to place where they were taken on the site. Now, 360 degree photos are becoming the norm and pictures are becoming an even more powerful tool.
By all accounts, Apple has become the operating system of choice for the construction industry. According to JBKnowledge’s latest Construction Technology Report, 70% of respondents stated that they used iOS devices in 2017, and iOS was also the most used system in 2015 and 2016. Procore, another tech company that’s a favorite for the industry, has just released a fully redesigned iOS app for both the iPhone and iPad.
Early in 2018, PlanGrid announced that they would be organizing their very first annual Construction Summit, which would unite PlanGrid users and stakeholders in the company’s home city, San Francisco. At the Summit, which took place on June 10 and 11, 2018, PlanGrid CEO Tracy Young and CTO Ralph Gootee chose to announce several major product innovations and developments.
Construction Junkie's 4th Annual Best Construction Podcast Competition has officially come to an end and the results have been tallied. It was a very exciting competition this year, with several very strong competitors pulling in tons of votes.