Smartphones Help in Improving Civil Infrastructure

A recent report done by the American Society of Civil Engineering rated the civil infrastructure systems available with a D+ rating. This is because civil infrastructure systems are aging in the United States. With that, scientists from the University of Missouri have developed a smartphone technology that can screen civil infrastructure systems like aging bridges, crumbling roads in order to save lives.

According to estimations, scientists say that the civil infrastructure system failure like roads and bridges could lead to a 1 percent drop in the US GDP. The number was $200 billion in 2017. The problem of these aging civil infrastructure systems suggests that there is a need from developing an innovative monitoring solution.

Through the use of various sensors on smartphones like a gyroscope, an accelerator measuring speed and camera or a small external sensor like the infrared sensor, scientists will be able to determine the precise makeup and worsening of a road surface in real time. When the sensor is plugged into a platform, any individual can effortlessly transfer data collected through crowdsourcing this technology will allow better-informed decisions about the conditions of the road and bridge

According to Amir Alavi, the assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in the MU College of engineering, the existing methods of monitoring civil infrastructure systems have technical issues, and at the same time, they are not user-centered. He says that people are looking for smart, scalable, cost-effective and user-centered approaches.

With the development in technology, people can assist in monitoring or detecting problems by using their own devices and smartphone technology allows people to achieve that. The professor partnered with Bill Buttlar, the Glen Barton Chair of Flexible Pavement Technology to create an innovative solution for monitoring bridges and roads. According to Buttlar, a smartphone can put together many reasonable measures to accurately assess things like degradation of a road surface.




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