Simulation Tech Enhances Decision-Making Process for Infrastructure Projects

In some way, shape or form, artificial intelligence (AI) is making a name for itself in the business community. The construction industry is no exception as recently seen in the United Kingdom, where a $4.5 million investment will fund a software company’s latest technological endeavor to create real-world simulations of infrastructure projects.

Startup software company SenSat secured the funding from three investors earlier this month, TechCrunch reported. SenSat’s equipment uses drone imagery and spatial data to simulate a location, said CEO James Dean, who also told TechCrunch that the technology gets a better image via drone compared to satellites, which are typically much further away. The images are then infused with sets of data, giving computers the ability to determine the best course of action regarding the project’s design.

This concept is known as “machine learning,” meaning AI can improve itself over time without human intervention.

“On a technical level, it allows us to build simulated realities for medium to small physical areas, which we have known variables for,” Dean said in the article. “This means we can check and quantify our results against the real world, helping us build a foundation that can scale in size and complexity.”

While the traditional approach may cost more time and money, Dean noted that the SenSat tech is able to assess thousands of infrastructure design options in minutes, not only saving millions of dollars but also significantly improving the decision-making process.

According to a Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc. report, more and more venture capitalists are investing in global construction technology, with startups receiving more than $1 billion in the first half of 2018. Investment in the U.S. alone is about 30% higher than all of 2017.

—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate

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