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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

 
REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-16-030    Date:  October 2018
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-16-030
Date: October 2018

 

Automation in Highway Construction Part I: Implementation Challenges At State Transportation Departments and Success Stories

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FOREWORD

The Federal Highway Administration conducted research to document gaps for implementing automation in highway construction and to develop guidance for State transportation departments to assist them in implementing and using automation to improve project delivery. There are two volumes of the final report. Part I (this volume) presents a description of the key automation technology areas and the associated benefits, challenges, and solutions. Part II presents an overview of enabling technologies and policies for automation in highway construction as well as implementation strategies, design procedures, and practical guidelines to properly generate three-dimensional (3D) models for uses in construction and other phases of highway project delivery.

This volume provides State transportation departments a focus on five key technology areas, taking into consideration that, to be able to fully implement automation during the construction phase of a highway project, technologies are implemented prior to construction during the planning, surveying, and design phases. The key technology areas are remote sensing, underground utilities locating technologies, 3D design, machine control and automation, and field technology and inspection. This volume documents success stories and best practices for automation in highway construction; best uses for individual technologies, including the types of costs and resources required by the industry and agencies for implementing these technologies; and their associated return on investment. Finally, it documents challenges of automation technology in the areas of surveying, utilities, real-time verification, and data management.

Cheryl Allen Richter, P.E., Ph.D.
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

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Technical Report Documentation Page
1. Report No.
FHWA-HRT-16-030
2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient’s Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Automation in Highway Construction Part I: Implementation Challenges at State Transportation Departments and Success Stories
5. Report Date
October 2018
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Helga N. Torres, J. Mauricio Ruiz, George K. Chang, Jennifer L. Anderson, and Sabrina Garber
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
The Transtec Group, Inc.
6111 Balcones Drive
Austin, TX 78731
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
DTFH61-13-C-00026
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
HRDI-20
15. Supplementary Notes
The Contracting Officer’s Representative was Richard Duval (HRDI-20).
16. Abstract
Automation in highway construction includes a growing number of technologies that collect, store, analyze, and process information to make, support, or execute an appropriate action or decision that results in enhanced construction outcomes. The goals of automation in highway construction are to increase speed, efficiency, and/or safety during the construction process. Automation in highway construction is used in conjunction with components, processes, and software that assist in a more efficient system of construction.
The primary objectives of this project were to address gaps identified for implementing automation in highway construction and to develop guidance for State transportation departments to assist them in implementing automation to improve accelerated project delivery. There are two volumes of the final report—one for each of the two objectives.
Part I of the final report (this volume) presents a description of the key automation technologies that were part of this study and the associated benefits, challenges, and solutions.
Part II of the final report, FHWA-HRT-16-031, presents an overview of enabling technologies and policies for automation in highway construction, along with implementation strategies.(1) Part II also includes design procedures and practical guidelines to properly generate three-dimensional models for downstream use in construction and other phases of highway project delivery.
17. Key Words
Automation in highway construction, intelligent construction, systems, technologies, challenges, opportunities
18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
https://www.ntis.gov
19. Security Classif. (of this report)
Unclassified
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
Unclassified
21. No. of Pages
100
22. Price
N/A
Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed pages authorized.
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