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IBM to help Italian road operator to monitor infrastructure using AI platform


Italian road operator Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI) is launching a new real-time infrastructure monitoring and management system using IBM’s artificial intelligence-based (AI) Maximo software platform.

The new digital platform will integrate inspection, structural monitoring and maintenance activities to allow for continuous monitoring of critical infrastructure such as bridges, roads and tunnels, IBM said.

Mobile devices connected to the system will provide technicians who perform inspections with insights about the infrastructure they are managing, combined with access to project documentation that can help operators determine if and when maintenance should be performed. Automated workflow processes can be set up to track whether required activities have been successfully completed and required approvals have been given, allowing operators to manage the infrastructure and associated information in a shared and transparent way, IBM said.

“Our intention is to create one of the most advanced infrastructure monitoring and maintenance systems in Europe, in line with the smart road principle defined by the Ministry of Transport,” said Autostrade per l’Italia managing director Roberto Tomasi. “With the most advanced technologies we aim to make efficiency and transparency the cornerstones to our mission of enhancing the security of critical infrastructure.”

“We all know how important bridges, tunnels and roads are for the daily life of every citizen. Many of these structures have been built at different times and with different materials. That’s why IBM has decided to invest and leverage its advanced Artificial Intelligence and IoT technologies to help Autostrade per l’Italia improve the way these structures are monitored and managed,” said Enrico Cereda, CEO of IBM Italy.

IBM said that the system combines 3D models of the monitored infrastructure with images taken in the field by technicians processed by AI, to classify which sections may require maintenance and suggest additional checks and physical inspections for the operator to evaluate.

IBM said that its monitoring platform will communicate in real time with sensors installed on infrastructure, the number of which will grow progressively. This IoT technology will enable the creation of centralized digital database containing all the regularly updated information on approximately 4,300 structures (bridges, viaducts, flyovers and tunnels) which are part of the network managed by ASPI.

The new IoT-based system will be launched in Italy on a trial basis before the end of the year and will initially be tested on three viaducts: the Bisagno, on the A12 motorway in Liguria, the Romano and the Corvi, both on the A16 motorway in Puglia. IBM said that the goal is for the technology to be implemented on all 1,943 major network structures by the end of next year.

The second phase of the project, set to begin in mid-2020, is designed to support infrastructure maintenance activities to flow through a single dashboard, giving operators a fully integrated view of activities.



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