In any given year, I cross the USA a couple times over by road for business and pleasure …in fact, given the option I almost always choose to travel by car rather than subject myself to the indignation and humility of air travel. Not just because of the recent news reports of horrendous treatment of passengers by airlines’ staff and passengers suffering from “air rage.”
Editor’s note: A 262Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine is HERE
The indignation of being prodded through long security lines only to suffer the humility of being scanned, prodded, and molested like livestock being round up for the slaughter. Only to be stuck in a hermetically sealed aluminum tube for several hours with people from all over the world carrying God only knows what diseases and illnesses. I always seem to come down with a “bug” of one sort or another whenever I fly.
I prefer to stay on the ground, and while I still can, drive my own vehicle across the country at least until self-driving cars take that privilege away from us. On the road, I get to experience what is really happening across this great continent providing a firsthand perspective on the state of infrastructure. There is nothing more enjoyable than driving over a perfectly paved, smooth interstate highway that has just been completed after suffering several miles of pot holes, pits and cracked pavement harrowingly navigated at 75 miles per hour.
No question, we have a lot of catching up to do in updating and improving our infrastructure, but driving across the country one can’t help but be impressed with all the construction taking place. The newly finished highways are certainly enjoyable and provide invaluable benefits to society. And, the costs to society by outdated and crumbling roads, highways, rails, buildings and facilities are immeasurable. I have seen construction sites on lonely stretches of highways, in cities and suburbs and I can’t help wondering if there are enough workers to address the need when the infrastructure investment actually comes about.
The construction industry has the slowest adoption of digital technology of virtually any industrial sector and could benefit the most from adoption of new technologies. Ken Smerz addressed this issue in his column, The Business of Laser Scanning, “THE TIPPING POINT: Economic Drivers of Emergent Technology. “Now that the actual unemployment rate in commercial/industrial construction is 1-2%, the need to develop compensatory strategies is necessary. Enter VDC/BIM. Enter new hardware/software. VDC/ BIM implementation will lead to greater prefabrication–and that is economically only possible by moving to 3d technology.”
The answer is, construction must adopt new 3D technologies to address the needs of society …it is our job in the LiDAR, laser scanning, reality capture, surveying and mapping business to educate the construction industry to the benefits of our technology. One small step …pass them a copy of LiDAR Magazine.
A 262Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine complete with images is available by clicking HERE