The future of German road maintenance is AI, says Hochtief
By Mike Hayes22 March 2023
The city of Herne in western Germany has jointly developed a digital solution for the maintenance of its road network, with Edgital, a subsidiary of contractor Hochtief.
As part of the joint programme, a system incorporating artificial intelligence to analyse the town’s 380km road network, to ensure a timely maintenance programme and efficient rehabilitation.
Initially, a database will be developed and integrated into a BIM model, with a view to initiating forward-looking maintenance management.
In the future, says Hochtief, BIM models “enriched with road condition information” is expected to be incorporated into a digital twin of the road, leading to an efficient digital road condition maintenance programme.
Hochtief manager Bernd Holtwick said, “Our solution not only allows us to map the current condition of a road. We can also observe and analyse trends and courses on specific sections.
“By adding artificial intelligence to every step of the process, we reduce the cost of data, enable better decisions and thus help municipalities to provide high-quality and safe roads.”
The Mayor of Herne, Frank Dudda, said, “The basis for efficient planning is to identify weak points in good time and to record precisely when maintenance measures make sense.
“To do this, we need continuous data collection on the condition of roads, as well as intelligent linking with other municipal and external data.
“The partnership with Hochtief enables us to develop an innovative solution for the diverse challenges of road maintenance.”