I recently came across a global market research from Global Industry Analysts, www.strategyr.com, San Jose, Calif., which indicates intelligent highway technologies is projected to reach $26.9 billion by 2020, which is driven by the growing demand for sophisticated traffic monitoring and management technologies from road authorities and highway operators across the world. This has me thinking: How will connected technologies such as this ultimately impact the construction market?

We explore the topic of IoT (Internet of Things) on a daily basis at sister publication, Connected World, connectedworld.com, but the topic is something that is becoming more widely discussed in the construction industry as of late.

According to this report, road authorities and road operators are focusing on growing traffic volume, escalating congestion, and pollution levels, while also looking at upgrading the highway and roadway infrastructure. In addition to building wider, multilane roads with high-quality materials and efficient lane markings, road infrastructure programs in several parts of the world are increasingly leaning on advanced technologies and solutions that help in efficiently managing the flow of traffic on highways.

More and more, road authorities and operators are implementing intelligent highway technologies, which integrate advanced ICT (information communication technology) solutions for on-the-highway and/or in-vehicle deployment. Intelligent highway technologies communicate with road authorities and/or motorists to ensure optimization of traffic flow.

The market for intelligent highway technologies is poised to gain from growing budget allocations for new road construction projects and also for upgrading the existing road infrastructure in several countries across the world.

Currently, various advanced technologies and solutions such as electronic toll collection; GPS (global positioning system)/GNSS (global navigation satellite system), automatic number plate recognition, lane departure warning, RFID (radio-frequency identification), and incident detection systems are being integrated into intelligent highway programs. In addition, realtime monitoring and communication systems including video surveillance, weather management, voice/video/data communication solutions, and signage displays, are actively being pursued by road infrastructure developers in their intelligent highway programs.

What do the numbers say? The United States represents the largest regional market, according to the report, while Asia-Pacific ranks as the fastest growing market with a projected CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20.4 % over the analysis period. China, along with other developing nations in Asia-Pacific, including South Korea, Taiwan, India, Thailand, and Malaysia among others, will spur future growth in the market.

These numbers are encouraging. As the construction market rebounds, the industry is poised to begin to leverage these connected technologies at a faster rate.

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