Almost exactly 2 years ago, we shared details about an autonomous, driverless construction work zone vehicle that would be the first to hit US streets of its kind. That vehicle is gearing up to hit US streets as the Colorado Department of Transportation has teamed up with its developers.
The Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle (AIPV), also known as the Autonomous Truck Mounted Attenuator (ATMA) Truck, by Royal Truck and Equipment is a first of its kind vehicle which uses a leader-follower system to operate. Traditional TMA trucks are meant to follow work zone vehicles to protect the leader vehicle from other vehicles that may run into the back of them. The leader vehicles move slower, as they often are responsible for dropping construction barrels and completing pavement striping operations. The major problem with that is the fact that a driver is in the vehicle that’s designed to get hit with the impact.
“Just in the last four years, there have been 26 incidents where a member of the traveling public struck a CDOT impact protection vehicle — that’s almost seven per year,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT Executive Director in a press release. “This is a dangerously high number when you consider that in some instances, a CDOT employee is sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle that was hit. By using self-driving technology, we’re able to take the driver out of harm’s way while still effectively shielding roadside workers.”
Using a driverless vehicle to take impact makes logical sense, but how does it work? Through a system of GOS receivers, computers, a compass, and a transceiver, the driverless follower vehicle automatically adjusts speed and direction to keep up and stay a safe distance from the leader vehicle, which is operated by a human.
In conjunction with Colas (an infrastructure company in the UK), the Colorado DOT and Royal Truck and Equipment recently deployed the ATMA truck in a live work zone. Footage of the driverless truck in action was shared by CIG Public Relations and you can watch below:
Tracking progress on any jobsite is extremely important for your schedule and budget. But, as the project grows larger, tracking progress becomes that much more difficult. How do you accurately determine the percentage of work that the subcontractors have completed across 10 stories and hundreds of thousands of square feet?
10 years ago, the most computer knowledge any construction company would require of its applicants was a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel or a scheduling software. Now, construction companies are finally getting wise to the fact that project management and document management software like Procore, Bluebeam, and PlanGrid can provide an efficiency boost to their projects. Because of this, many employers now have job openings that require knowledge of their software of choice.
If you’ve never used that specific software, how can you make yourself eligible for that role?
At the World of Concrete 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Bosch unveiled a world’s first in the form of their 15-Amp Corded GSH27-26 Brute Turbo Breaker Hammer with integrated GPS tracking. While many tool manufacturers have begun adding Bluetooth technology to tools, like Milwaukee’s One-Key and DeWalt’s Tool Connect, there is a limit to what Bluetooth can do. Mainly, the user has to be within about 100 feet of their Bluetooth enables tool to be able to use any of the features.
Starting this year, PlanGrid users and others interested in the world of construction technology will be able to attend an annual construction summit hosted by the company. Several other construction project management software companies have successfully implemented this type of yearly conference in the past, such as Procore Groundbreak and Bluebeam eXtreme. The in-person events are designed to get the software’s users to meet, interact, share tips, and learn from experts.
The construction industry has been notoriously slow to adopt new technology, so much so that we’re probably –and sadly- keeping the fax machine industry afloat single-handedly. Heck, half of you are probably reading this article on a computer still using Windows 2000. I kid. However, Silicon Valley has recently zeroed in on the construction world, because they’ve realized it’s one of the least tapped into markets on the planet and there are billions of dollars up for grabs. That’s not a bad thing, either.
Creating and tracking submittals on a construction project can be a pain-staking process. Many times, each submittal is tracked manually via emails or spreadsheet, which leaves companies vulnerable to allowing certain ones to fall through the cracks. Factor in lead times on materials and it could cost your project valuable schedule days or expedited shipping fees, not to mention hours that the office staff spends tracking down paperwork.
Construction robotics has been a highly covered topic in the media for the past couple years. 3D concrete printing, brick laying robots, and self-driving track loaders are just a few of the technologies that have promised to disrupt construction sites across the world. But how exactly will these innovations affect the construction industry’s workforce?
Smartphones have replaced a lot of different objects and materials on today’s construction site. They’re used for pictures, video and audio recording, and note taking, among many other uses. Beyond the typical functions most phones already have incorporated within them, there is now a significant market of accessories designed to make your phone even more useful on the construction jobsite.
We’ve compiled a list of 5 different accessories that you can buy to further enhance the power of your smartphone for construction.
The construction industry has historically been slow to adapt to new technologies, but with a recent push from Silicon Valley, a lot of money is being poured into research and development. Just a few short years ago, robotics on the construction site was thought of as a pipe dream, but now there are several companies around the world that are making it a reality. It still may be years away from being adopted in a large scale, but the industry should begin to take note of the technological changes that are happening around them.
Robotics isn’t the only construction item that made headlines last year, there have also been advances in construction materials, Augmented and Mixed Reality, smart sensors, and RFIDs.
Below is our list of the best advances in construction technology from 2017:
Getting your communications right is critical on any construction site. For effective planning and coordination, for efficient management of different teams and for health and safety, having a reliable means of keeping everyone in touch at all times is essential.