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A BAM Nuttall-led consortium is set to be a part of a government-funded trial to explore the potential of 5G for improving productivity in construction. The project will test 5G-powered cameras, drones, and sensors at different construction sites across Scotland.
The partnership secured a funding of £846,365 from the UK government and certain businesses aiming to help the regional industries take advantage of the emerging 5G technology in construction. The project is part of the government’s 5G Create program, planning to utilize and develop new use-cases and 5G technical capabilities.
Dubbed as the 5G AMC 2 (Accelerate, Maximise and Create for Construction), the project will test how 5G can enable the use of data for maximum productivity in construction processes.
Together with AttoCore and the Building Research Establishment (BRE), BAM Nuttall seeks to lead in vendor diversification with core, radio, and devices procured from several emerging companies.
The first site for the trial will be the BAM Nuttall regional office in Kilsyth, Scotland, where mobile coverage is particularly poor, especially indoors.
Next will be a construction site in Shetland where BAM Nuttall is working with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks. The site is significantly more remote and will truly test the capabilities of the 5G AMC 2 project. The third site will be in Glasgow.
How can 5G Help the Construction Industry?
1. Real-time Data
5G will help collect, capture, and analyze data in real-time. It will allow on-the-spot decision making and faster rectification of problems by connecting multiple people across multiple locations through better coverage and higher reliability. Thus, 5G will play a crucial role in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of a construction project.
2. Faster Access to Information
5G will enable construction businesses to quickly access vital information with significantly low latency. This will allow teams to perform autonomous and remote construction operations in real-time.
3. Potential for Autonomous Solutions
5G will facilitate autonomous and remote operations, thus unleashing the potential to complete projects solely by machines, without the need for people on site. Even with the presence of remote-control technology, there’s a lag in connectivity, which makes it currently difficult to complete work with the required speed or levels of precision.
5G could help overcome this barrier not only in the construction sector, but also help improve safety in riskier sectors such as mining and steelwork.
4. Self-driving Machines
The comparatively faster speed of 5G can help enhance the capabilities of self-driving machines. They will be able to map the sites accurately, recognize signals, and communicate with other machines more efficiently.
5. Improved Video Capability
5G will enable site managers to record, store, and send high-quality videos in the blink of an eye. This will provide the means for construction firms to manage large volumes of video information, reducing the need for teams on site.