The world is beginning to recognize that autonomous vehicles have the potential to reduce thousands of traffic accidents caused by human error, cut the number of hours commuters spend stuck in traffic, and improve transportation across many sectors: personal, business, industrial, commercial, and public mobility.

  

Autonomous vehicles require a lot of data and connectivity to operate safely. Onboard sensors and offboard streams of data will be needed, continuously, for the highway of the future to support the vehicles of the future. For example, the Michigan Connected and Automated Vehicle Corridor Project seeks to push the use of (CAVs (connected and autonomous vehicles) and supporting infrastructure as a practical model for safe, efficient, and adaptable mobility options.

When unrest and protests populate the evening news, thoughts quickly focus on security for the home. Builders and architects are taking notice and adding security measures to their plans and offering a variety of options that can increase the homeowner’s comfort level. Among the options being offered are cameras and sensors that allow monitoring of access points as well as the interior.

Leica Geosystems recently introduced its BLK247 security product that addresses the need for 3D sensors in today’s surveillance industry. It provides an entry to true 3D surveillance technology and makes accurate decisions on when to trigger an alarm. It also creates new opportunities for security systems integrators to offer one of the industry’s most innovative surveillance products.

In June, we noted the NEXT Coalition’s Construction Safety Challenge and explained how an industry group focused on infrastructure and construction was challenging the industry to come up with new and innovative ideas for meeting the COVID-19’s impact on jobsites across the country. The original companies forming the NEXT Coalition were Black & Veatch, DPR Construction, Haskell, and McCarthy Building Companies. They were soon joined by Swinerton and Truebeck Construction.

The NEXT Coalition has now chosen five pilot projects meant to protect crews against challenges posed by COVID-19. The pilot projects—chosen from 84 applications and products from 78 companies and startups who responded to a call for coronavirus solutions—include wearable technology for contact tracing and social distancing, digital pre-screening of workers, and smart video monitoring for health and safety.

Bridges are common; they’ve been around for thousands of years. Airports have used moving walkways for decades. Now the two are being combined as thyssenkrupp Elevator provides surface-mounted, modular moving walks for longest pedestrian bridge in the U.S.

thyssenkrupp Elevator will provide six of its moving iwalks for a 1,000-foot pedestrian bridge being built on the 1.5 million-sq.ft. campus for United Shore, home to WHM (wholesale mortgage) lending company. When completed, the pedestrian bridge will be the longest in the U.S. Final installation of all six iwalks is expected in 2021.

Infectious disease experts agree that a core way to slow the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus is to track contacts made by those found to be infected. But track and trace is labor intensive and many industries have limited or no experience in handling this approach. Now, technology is coming to help.

Smart-city developments around the globe are anticipated to increase in the next several years—with a number of organizations predicting substantial growth. The pandemic in many cases is accelerating this need, as regulatory bodies are hyper focused on monitoring the health and safety of citizens. With the rise of the digital twin, cities have a tool to help make this a reality.

There is great potential for steady growth in the global smart-city market, with MarketsandMarkets predicting it will grow from $410.8 billion in 2020 to $820.7 billion by 2025, which is a growth rate of 14.8%. This includes adoption in transportation, utilities, buildings, and citizen services, thanks to the uptick in the IoT (Internet of Things), big data, analytics, cloud, security, and network connectivity.

The CIO (chief information officer) of companies large and small needs to step up and accept the challenges of COVID-19 and the resulting economic pain. CIOs have increased their organizational credibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are more complex challenges that they must tackle during the recovery to sustain their elevated value, according to Gartner, Inc.

A Gartner managed panel surveyed 58 CIOs in May 2020 and found that 43% said planning for their enterprises’ post-COVID-19 strategy has begun, while 38% were still dealing with the effects, but will turn to recovery soon.  CIOs in many organizations were instrumental in dealing with the initial impact of COVID-19 and in many cases were the guiding lights that allowed the companies to continue during the early stages of the pandemic. Enterprises continued to operate with a strong assist from IT organizations, especially in enabling a newly dispersed workforce to work from home. Consequently, many CIOs have a new opportunity to take a seat at the table when senior leaders decide enterprise strategy and which lines of business to ramp up and which ones to reduce.

U.S. lodging industry contributes nearly $660 billion to U.S. GDP according to the AHLA (American Hotel & Lodging Assn.) With record low travel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of independent hotels cannot afford to pay their commercial mortgages and are facing foreclosure with the potential of having to close permanently. Tens of thousands of hotel employees will lose their jobs and small businesses that depend on these hotels to drive local tourism and economic activity will likely face a similar fate.

A report, from research firm Trepp, shows that the hotel industry is facing a historic wave of foreclosures as COVID-19 continues to devastate the country. Since the beginning of the pandemic in February, the hotel segment has faced an increasing number of delinquencies and is the most heavily hit sector of the CMBS (commercial mortgage-backed securities) market.

AI—Artificial Intelligence (or Augmented Intelligence)—has been a buzzword for decades. Every day we hear of things being augmented with AI: autonomous cars, for example. But is AI really growing and being implemented in practical, useful applications?

Apparently so. Worldwide revenues for the AI market, including software, hardware, and services, are expected to total $156.5 billion in 2020, an increase of 12.3% over 2019. While this year’s growth is somewhat slower than previous years due to the economic impact of COVID-19, IDC (ntl. Data Corp.) believes investment in AI will recover quickly.

Business as it has been may not be the norm as nations around the world are still impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Governments at every level are searching for ways to aid their constituents, keep them safe and still reopen businesses that have been shuttered as a precaution against unnecessary spread of the virus. The implementation of lockdowns has resulted in stoppage or delays of construction projects and disruption of supply chains in the sector.

To tackle the impact of COVID-19, governments worldwide are expected to take significant steps and implement schemes for promoting construction projects once the pandemic is under control. A research report on the Global AI in Construction Market by Research Dive presents the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the present and future market growth.

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