MN DOT – Transforming Inspections (Collins/Bentley/Microsoft)
Barritt Lovelace, P.E. & Jennifer L. Wells, P.E.
Bridge Inspections come with inherent challenges in terms of safety, costs, and impact to the traveling public. With advancements in technologies, such as UAS, Reality Modeling, Mixed Reality, and AI & Machine Learning there is a significant opportunity for Bridge Owners to drastically improve the Maintenance & Operations of Bridges through the use of Digital Twins. A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical asset, process or system, which allows us to understand and model its performance. In this presentation, we will highlight the process of acquiring a digital twin based on a high-fidelity reality model, connecting the model with its condition and maintenance data to augment the digital twin, and then using Mixed Reality technology to conduct remote inspections. We believe this process can greatly increase the quality of inspections while minimizing safety risks and reducing overall costs. Furthermore, the increase in the quality of data collected can greatly improve rehab/replace decisions, which can have significant cost savings for Bridge Operators and the public. Case studies from Minnesota DOT and Collins Engineers will be presented to illustrate the application of Digital Twins for bridge inspections and maintenance, and we will also explore opportunities on connecting Operations with Design to support the entire lifecycle of Bridges.