Digital Technologies Such As Augmented And Virtual Reality Are Improving Safety In The Construction Market

16 Oct, 2019

Construction companies are adopting digital technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and wearables to improve construction site safety. VR and AR enable construction managers to view jobsite conditions in a simulated environment. They can also be used for training workers on safe operation of heavy equipment in a controlled environment. Wearables can track workers in the field to protect them from jobsite hazards and other potential injuries. New safety devices such as carbon monoxide-detecting hats use noninvasive blood oxygen monitors to alert workers in areas with high carbon monoxide emissions and CO2 bricks. Skanska USA, a leading construction group, is using equipment sensors and labor tracking technology to ensure safety of workers. In 2016, Bechtel, a US-based construction and civil engineering company, started VR immersion safety training for its workers. New South Construction Company in Atlanta is using Oculus Rift VR headsets for project imaging and worker safety.

Construction companies are also increasingly using autonomous construction vehicles and heavy equipment to improve productivity. These automated vehicles are equipped with sensors, cameras and GPS. Real-time data obtained from these devices helps in remote monitoring of a jobsite and reduces construction time. Vehicles connected through IoT, telematics and RFID tracking technologies are also helping the construction industry to be more collaborative, efficient and safe. Leading manufacturers such as Komatsu, Caterpillar and Volvo CE are continuously releasing new models of autonomous, semi-autonomous and remote-controlled excavators and other heavy equipment. Royal Truck & Equipment is pilot testing with Florida DOT for self-driving crash trucks for work zones.

Technological development has been a key driver of the global construction market. Areas of rapid technological change include smart highways, 3D concrete printing, drone surveying, kinetic roads, ‘tiny houses’ and solar roads. The global construction market is expected to grow from $12,558.2 billion in 2018 to $18,775.3 billion in 2022 at an annual growth rate of 10.6%.

Buildings construction was the largest segment of the global construction market in 2018, accounting for more than 50% of the total share. This was mainly due to the large number of building construction companies in both developed and developing countries such as the USA, China, Japan and India, which cater to a large customer base in these regions. Establishments that prepare sites for new construction and those that subdivide land for sale as building sites are included in the building construction market. The buildings construction work performed includes new work, additions, alterations, maintenance, and repairs. The buildings construction market is further segmented into residential building construction and nonresidential building construction.