Storebælt Bridge to share new AI solution with the rest of the world
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Sund & Bælt is able to track where maintenance is required on the Storebælt Bridge. The technology is also being tested on the Lillebælt, Vejle Fjord and Øresund Bridges. The aim is to share the solution across the world.
Although the Storebælt Bridge was built more than 20 years ago, innovation continues. Sund & Bælt has started to use Artificial Intelligence to predict when the concrete, of which most of the bridge is comprised, requires maintenance.
This is performed by running drone images of the concrete through cloud-based object recognition. The idea is currently being tested on the Lillebælt, Vejlefjord and Øresund Bridges. The next step is to share it with owners/operators of concrete bridges across the world. “Our core focus was to devise a solution for ourselves in order to streamline and improve our inspections, but it quickly became apparent that the more we used the solution, the better it became. This has given us an incentive to try to disseminate the solution to other bridges too,” says Mikkel Hemmingsen, CEO, Sund & Bælt, who is keen to capitalise on the fact that a cloud-based digital solution is easily scalable and useable by others.
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So far, Sund & Bælt has used its experiences from building Europe’s longest suspension bridge to provide consultancy services for others involved in the construction of largescale infrastructure. But because the new AI-based solution is user-friendly, Mikkel Hemmingsen is hoping that owners/operators of concrete bridges across the world will also consider taking advantage of it.
” We have always shared our knowledge about the Storebælt Bridge. We’re now embarking on a new chapter in the Storebælt Bridge’s operations, which means that we can begin to share our digital know-how .”Mikkel Hemmingsen, CEO, Sund & Bælt
Microsoft, which developed the solution on the Azure platform in partnership with Sund & Bælt, welcomes the fact that AI is being deployed to help people make safe decisions.
“This is an example of positive interaction between machinery and people,” says Marianne Dahl, CEO, Microsoft Denmark. “AI enables employees to make good decisions and lets concrete experts evaluate damage without having to be suspended in the air at heights of 200m.”
In time, the new solutions from Sund & Bælt are expected to be deployed in Europe and Asia.
Facts: Artificial Intelligence at Sund & Bælt
Over the past few years, drones have been flying around the Storebælt Bridge taking thousands of photographs of the concrete.
The images are stored in the cloud via the Microsoft platform, Azure, where algorithms identify damage in the concrete that needs to be repaired quickly
The process enables Sund & Bælt to focus on the concrete damage that requires attention – and fewer engineers are needed to clamber around the bridge to inspect it.