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IoT and Sensors: Making Monitoring of Transportation Infrastructure More Efficient

By Dick Weisinger

Sensors are essential components of IoT. Sensors capture data like temperature, humidity, pressure, light, and sound, for processing by the IoT device. There are more than 100 different kinds of sensors.

From IoT Sensors and Actuators

One application of IoT is for monitoring infrastructure in cities. Bridges and roads older than 50 years are notorious for structural deficiencies and monitoring their reliability has been a difficult task. Failures can be catastrophic and cause large numbers of injuries, not to mention traffic problems. In the US alone, there are more than 600,000 bridges and the effort to periodically monitor them with in-person checks is expensive and time-consuming.

IoT and sensor technology offers the possibility to be able to automatically monitor the reliability of these structures by collecting data about temperature, humidity, corrosion, pH, and strain and stress. IoT monitoring may not be able to eliminate the need for in-person checks, but it may make it possible to help prioritize which structures require close attention.

Alex Jablokow, freelance writer, said that “most infrastructure problems remain invisible until they have significant negative consequences. IoT makes the invisible visible. Its data and analytics can support the creation of platforms for managing the funding of maintenance and capital investments. Someday, everyone will take for granted the long lifespan of bridges and other infrastructure, without any knowledge of the underlying IoT technologies that make that possible.”

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