FHWA changes future of transportation with robotics

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s draft framework for the future of transportation, titled "Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices," outlines the dramatic changes the American transportation infrastructure will see over the next thirty years.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) study doesn’t prescribe solutions to the challenges that transportation in the nation will face, but it does recognize the technology that will play an important role in the future.

For example, RABIT is a robotic bridge inspection protocol that combines a number of advanced imaging technologies to give human bridge inspectors more accurate information about the bridge’s overall “health.” With a single scan, the RABIT combines several different types of scanning efforts and different types of tools. The RABIT can also see things that are not visible to the naked human eye, such as the interior of the bridge’s deck.

The FHWA is currently using RABIT technology on 24 bridges in Washington, D.C. and six other states, including Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
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