IBM Launches an AI-Driven Civil Infrastructure Initiative

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IBM’s tool will allow users to streamline maintenance decisions and move towards data-driven insights.

Aging infrastructure is an expensive problem, but ignoring it costs cities heavily. IBM is taking on the issue of preserving civil infrastructure by using artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to prolong the life of highways, bridges, and other civil structures.

Trillions of dollars remained unfunded in civil infrastructure repairs, an alarming number considering how vital infrastructure is to industry. Infrastructure requires proper maintenance or citizens will experience disruptions. IBM is hoping to transform the way infrastructure decisions happen, providing AI-based, data-driven analysis for better results.

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IBM’s intervention

They call it IBM Maximo for Civil Infrastructure. It combines data sources:

  • IoT sensor details
  • maintenance and design details
  • drones
  • weather data
  • stationary cameras
  • wearables

These disparate data sources provide a picture of the severity of the damage, the extent of displacement stress, and other common infrastructure issues. The data reduces the expense of manual exploration to determine the necessity of maintenance or repairs and the unnecessary costs of human intervention in the exploration stage.

Engineers use the tool to create detailed 3D visualization with all the data. IBM’s AI visual recognition offers inspectors the chance to identify defects and place them in context, giving inspectors a cost-effective way to perform inspections without reducing accuracy.

How data can transform infrastructure

AI-driven decision making uses the lure of big data – truly big data – to help engineers, inspectors, and cities decide when to allocate limited resources for the most significant impact. IoT and AI combine to create a better foundation for making decisions.

It addresses the problem from all sides and will provide documentation for historical knowledge about the structure. It’s adapted to civil engineers’ specific needs and draws on various knowledge sources, including some of the world’s largest infrastructure operators.

The application offers:

  • Maximo Application Suite licensing and Open Shift deployment: customers deploy all aspects of the suite on a single license.
  • Defect management: Customers can record all aspects of defects to be checked against a wealth of other data. Defects no longer exist in a vacuum.
  • 3D visualization: Engineers and inspectors can now visualize defects not visible from the outside with annotations.
  • Asset loader improvements: This function streamlines uploading assets, allowing organizations to upload and categorize hundreds or thousands of assets using an improved UI.

IBM’s tool will allow users to streamline maintenance decisions and move towards data-driven insights even in a field like civil engineering. The system manages historical data, allows for easier uploads and exports, and blends the expertise of engineers and inspectors with the processing capability of AI to move civic infrastructure into the new era.

The future of civil infrastructure maintenance

IBM’s tool will allow users to streamline maintenance decisions and move towards data-driven insights even in a field like civil engineering. The system manages historical data, allows for easier uploads and exports, and blends the expertise of engineers and inspectors with the processing capability of AI to move civic infrastructure into the new era.

Elizabeth Wallace

About Elizabeth Wallace

Elizabeth Wallace is a Nashville-based freelance writer with a soft spot for data science and AI and a background in linguistics. She spent 13 years teaching language in higher ed and now helps startups and other organizations explain - clearly - what it is they do.

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