city bridge

gNext Bridges the Gap in Bridge Inspection Processes with Drones & AI

There are 167.5 million daily bridge crossings over 43,578 structurally deficient bridges in the United States, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). That means millions of people are in danger of being caught in a tragic collapse.

As seen in the bridge collapse earlier this year in Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges, our bridge infrastructure is in a critical state. A four-lane bridge on Forbes Avenue collapsed in January, injuring over a dozen citizens. The preliminary report was unable to identify the cause of the collapse. In May, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) updated the report to include video footage analysis, but the investigation has not found any evidence of widespread deficiencies in the structure.

Four months later, those affected are still looking for answers.

Overcoming Inspection Challenges

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), when a bridge is due for inspection, or a structural deficiency requires a bridge to be posted or closed, the FHWA expects the state to have a process in place to ensure these actions are taken in an expeditious manner. Unfortunately, many of these processes are reactive rather than proactive.

As a result, ARTBA estimates that it would take 30 years and over $58 billion in infrastructure spending to fix or replace all of the nation’s structurally deficient bridges. At this time, there’s only $40 billion available from the US DOT.

So how do we bridge that gap? Embracing drone and AI technologies for inspections.

gNext was built to solve the challenges the infrastructure industry continues to face: limited time, limited budgets, and a limited workforce. The cloud-based platform helps asset owners perform infrastructure inspections faster and with less risk. Using images collected by drones, the platform creates highly accurate 3D Mesh and Point-Cloud models that inspectors can use to document, assess, and monitor bridge assets. Their analysis is supported by Machine Learning and Computer Vision, paired with tools like annotations and reports to help them communicate issues and action plans.

Much like the building and structure inspection industry, the benefits of drone inspections are hard to ignore. Just ask our partners, Eurovia.

gNext Bridge Inspection in Action

Eurovia Contracting is the civil engineering and schemes delivery arm of Eurovia Infrastructure Limited — the road contracting, specialist surfacing contracting, and asphalt production business within Eurovia UK.

Eurovia UK’s businesses are responsible for improving over 50,000 kms of the UK’s highways network — delivering specialist highway services and products across the largest, dedicated, highways portfolio within the UK, including the strategic road network, DBFO motorway and trunk roads, and the local authority network. As a result, they sought a solution to support their efforts to adopt drone technology to capture data in the field and digitize bridge infrastructure for inspection and management.

Some of the features they were seeking included:

  • Secure, long-term storage for a high volume of data
  • Video streaming, annotation, and reporting
  • Video frame extraction
  • 360° video support
  • Bulk-downloading of images
  • Dynamic video enhancement

Eurovia selected gNext as their cloud platform of choice to help their team analyze, manage, and deliver their customer’s drone data for bridge inspection and management in one central solution. With the support of our powerful platform, Eurovia was able to upload 360° images and video, work with a variety of file formats, and use point clouds, orthophotos, terrains, CAD drawings, and more to provide customers with the detailed information they need. This repository being built in gNext is being referred to as the ‘single source of truth’ for bridge and asset inspection.

Within three weeks, Eurovia was fully onboarded to our video module and we provide continued customer service support and product updates to enhance and improve the inspection and management workflow.

“We found that the team at gNext has built a fantastic platform for inspecting data for a variety of infrastructure inspections,” said Philip Reid, Digital Construction Manager for Eurovia Contracting.

Thanks to the highly accurate 3D Mesh and Point-Cloud models, inspectors are able to document, assess, and monitor the condition of UK’s bridges faster and with precision. As a result, the company could save up to 60% of the cost of inspections, meaning they can double the number of inspections they can conduct with the same budget.

Request a Demo

gNext seeks to partner with asset owners and inspection service providers to reduce the amount of failing bridges, save lives, and protect against costly repairs. Take your asset inspection and digitization to a new level with gNext. Reach out to request a demo today!

Similar Posts