Academy projects - IAI

Active research sponsored by the TRL Academy to do with Intelligent Asset Information

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

Traditionally BIM (Building Information Management) has been used in major new infrastructure projects, but BIM models have not been widely used for the existing urban road systems in which the future CAV based mobility services will operate. This project is exploring the potential uses and benefits of BIM level 2 / 3 to support the adoption of CAV technologies. To achieve this objective a BIM model of all road and roadside assets along a 13 km CAV test route in Greenwich was created. To create this model:

  • The whole route was surveyed with LIDAR
  • Pavement condition data was collected using a HARRIS 3 vehicle
  • Overground asset data was gathered from Greenwich Council
  • Underground utility data was gathered

Furthermore, the BIM model was combined with geospatial data from Here Maps and basic building models, and hosted in 3D Repo online collaboration platform. Once the BIM model was complete, a number of outputs were utilised to demonstrate the potential benefits of BIM level 2/3 to support CAV technologies as well as SMLL activities. These included:

  • A sample traffic simulation run by Immense Simulations to demonstrate how BIM data can be utilised to support 3rd party simulations, including smart mobility service provision
  • A detailed 2D plan of the whole route was supplied to SMLL team to support high-level planning activities, before the finished BIM models can be supplied
  • The BIM model was successfully integrated into TRL’s full-scale driving simulator
  • The BIM model was successfully imported into Unity game engine to create an immersive application to demonstrate the benefits of adopting BIM
  • An additional application was created with Unity in which the users can drive a vehicle or walk around to explore the BIM model in a virtual environment
  • Finally, the BIM model was utilised to create a VR application, in which the road environment can be experienced from the point of view of different road users 


Use of remote sensing on rural road networks and assets in low income countries

A project to identify and quantify the criteria for assessing unpaved road conditions from satellite imagery; to determine how remote sensing can be used to asses asset condition; and inform potential automated systems of the means of detecting changes in road condition. In Low Income Countries, these techniques offer the potential to save a lot of time and resources in comparison to traditional surveys, and reduce the risks associated with conducting surveys in remote areas or conflict zones.


Characterisation of good performing graded aggregate seals

This project aims to explore the factors necessary to make the design process for using graded aggregate seals more rational and scientific. The end benefits, if graded aggregate seals were more widely used in pavement construction, would be better through-life performance and cost saving; the possibility of network expansion in low-income countries; and contribution to reduction of pavement construction effects on climate change.




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