Trimble SiteVision Brings Augmented Reality to Asphalt Paving
BY Kevin Garcia
When it comes to emerging technology in construction, augmented reality (AR) solutions are among the fastest-growing segments in the market. Across construction jobsites of all types, AR allows users to visualize complex projects and plans within their real-world environment, making it easier to plan, collaborate and report on projects. Now, with the introduction of Trimble SiteVision, asphalt contractors have access to an AR system that makes it easy to take advantage of the benefits of augmented reality on all types of paving projects.
Trimble SiteVision is an outdoor AR solution that enables users to visualize 2D and 3D data on virtually any project site with cellular or internet connectivity. Combining hardware and software in an integrated, lightweight handheld or pole-mounted solution, users can view 3D models and assets in a real-world environment at a 1:1 scale, from any angle or position.
For example, now contractors working on a project expanding a road from two lanes to four can stand on the existing road and see exactly where the new, wider road will run and what it will look like. Trimble SiteVision users can visualize everything from where a new bridge or overpass will be placed and how it will look in the real world, to the exact placement of handicapped access ramps, intersections and curbs in residential developments.
One of the most impactful uses of the new AR solution is in night milling, where contractors can now highlight manhole covers, underground infrastructure and other assets that are otherwise indicated by paint, which can be difficult to see in the dark.
“The addition of augmented reality to a paving jobsite means contractors no longer have to carry around paper plans, because everyone on the site can see exactly what the finished job is supposed to look like,” said Casey Cyrus, business area manager for Trimble Site Positioning Systems. “Now, instead of calling the architect or engineer to confirm how high a curb should be, you can look at the handheld and see for yourself. Imagine being able to stand on a paving jobsite and see exactly what the finished project will look like before you even begin.”
The Trimble SiteVision Integrated Positioning System integrates the Trimble Catalyst DA1 Antenna, Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) rangefinder and power management into a lightweight, handheld device that connects to a user-supplied Android™ mobile phone. A software subscription is available to single users on a monthly or yearly basis. The SiteVision software subscription combines Trimble’s positioning services and cloud-based processing technology to create a centimeter-accurate AR system. The system leverages Trimble cloud-based processing to manage and deliver data and design models.
The Trimble SiteVision workflow is designed to be simple to use. Contractors survey the project as normal and then create the design model from the survey, most commonly using Trimble Business Center and Sketchup. For civil projects, SiteVision also visualizes data from Trimble’s Quantm and Novapoint solutions; design data from Civil 3D® and Bentley® OpenRoads; and GIS data from Esri® ArcGIS® software.
From there, the design model is exported to Trimble Connect, Trimble’s cloud-based hosting service. On the jobsite, users can connect to the correction service of their choice to visualize the jobsite, create tasks and reports, and take measurements of the model data with the SiteVision app. Access to VRS Now and Centerpoint RTX are provided with a SiteVision subscription.
For paving contactors, Trimble SiteVision opens the door for both time and cost savings by blending digital content with real-world environments. AR technology makes it easy for both contractors and customers to “see” finished projects that can be difficult to visualize, while also eliminating the need for questions, calls, and trips between the office and the field.
“It’s easier to understand complex ideas when we can see them in a real-world context,” said Mark Nichols, general manager at Trimble. “SiteVision improves our understanding of projects and worksites with a handheld device that is accessible to a wide range of users. Augmented reality is now ready for everyday use in a wide range of applications.”
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