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HCE Embarks on Developing Next-Generation Construction Platform

Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE) said on Monday it has signed a memorandum of understanding to partner up with SK Telecom (SKT), South Korea’s top mobile operator, and Trimble, a California-based global leader of positioning services, to develop a “Smart Construction” solution. Each party will bring its own expertise to the development, aiming to commercialize the solution by 2020.
Smart Construction refers to an intelligent technology deploying information and communication technologies (ICT) to collect, analyze and control relevant information throughout the entire civil engineering process, from land surveying and execution to post-construction maintenance.

While enhancing construction efficiency by utilizing aerial drone images and other external data from various sources to effectively manage a project, this innovative solution will also help reduce industrial accidents by recognizing safety hazards present at construction sites to prevent injuries.

In this collaboration, HCE, for its part, will develop intelligent construction equipment and a remote troubleshooting technology for malfunctions. SKT will be in charge of providing data communication services, including 5G, and developing safety solutions fit for different construction sites. Trimble will be responsible for developing solutions for drone-aided land surveying and cartographic transformation and for enhanced operational efficiency of construction projects.

Industry watchers forecast the focus of the construction equipment market will move beyond just supplying equipment, eventually to offering total solutions tailored to the needs of various civil engineering and construction sites.

“The Smart Construction solution we are working towards by integrating 5G communication technology, big data and artificial intelligence will enable automated operation and remote control of equipment at construction sites,” said Kim Dae-soon, R&D head of HCE. “This will be a major breakthrough in the search for a way to enhance work efficiency while reducing accidents, reshaping the future of construction.”

As part of its commitment to spearheading the efforts to usher in the next generation of construction equipment, HCE has collected and analyzed data from over 100,000 units of various construction machinery so far using its remote monitoring system 'Hi-MATE' developed in 2008, while also succeeding recently in commercializing the machine guidance technology which is often described as the immediately preceding phase to an unmanned excavator system.