The path to new airports, sturdier bridges and smoother roads lies in software, at least according to people who make software.
A report released Tuesday argued that rebuilding U.S. infrastructure will come faster and cheaper if planners rely more heavily on software simulations and other computer tools.
The study by Software.org, an industry group, contends aggressive use of computer code can improve traffic flows by 5 to 25 percent, cut construction costs, reduce airline flight delays by a third and add $1 trillion to the U.S. economy.
“Put most simply, our infrastructure needs a software upgrade,” according to Infrastructure 4.0, Rebuilding America With Software.
“Many of today’s infrastructure issues stem from a crumbling and outdated stock that was designed and built in an analog era10 — long before the invention of the Internet, the cloud, connected sensors, or 3D modeling,” the report said.
The report, which comes with an implied argument to spend more on the industry that sponsored it, argues that techniques like three-dimensional modeling could more easily solve tricky design problems on large projects and bring down costs.
It calls for tying machinery on construction sites to 3D computer designs for added precision.
And it says the so-called internet of things, or IoT, should be used more widely to improve the performance of traffic lights and other devices to get the most efficient use out of what’s already built.
“If we are to meet our infrastructure challenges, we need to seize upon what may be software’s greatest untapped potential — its ability to fundamentally expand what our infrastructure can achieve,” the report said.
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