Using Intel’s Commercial Drone Technology to Help Automate & Expedite Bridge Inspection
Intel collaborated with two departments of transportation—including the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Collins—to improve bridge inspections, supplementing manual inspections of the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky and the Stone Arch Bridge in Minnesota. Throughout the inspections, Intel’s advanced automated commercial drone hardware and software solutions increased efficiency and produced more reliable data in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods.
Working with MnDOT and Collins, Intel and its commercial drone technology helped expedite an inspection of the iconic Stone Arch Bridge, a landmark pedestrian and bicycle bridge in Minneapolis, with increased automation. While most bridges are inspected every 24 months, officials inspect the Stone Arch Bridge annually due to the complex nature of the structure’s aging masonry and a fractured steel span. Incorporating Intel technology, MnDOT and Collins increased efficiency, reducing work hours by 28 percent. The work resulted in an inspection cost savings of approximately 40 percent that could save taxpayers an estimated $160,000 over the next 10 years.
More than 600,000 bridges are in the U.S., and nearly 10 percent of them are currently rated structurally deficient or obsolete. Each bridge is structurally unique and needs regular inspections to achieve safety requirements for general use.