In October 2023, chief executive John Lee revealed during his 2023 policy address plans to publish, by the end of the year, the Hong Kong Major Transport Infrastructure Development Blueprint which contains plans for the implementation of major transport infrastructure projects designed to improve the city’s rail and road networks, by the end of the year (sneak peek here).
Transport infrastructure includes roads, railways, ports, and airports. A transport system is a vital driver of social and economic development, which generates opportunities for both poor and facilitating economies to become competitive. It facilitates the supply of goods and services globally.
The Transportation Infrastructure Market report paints a positive outlook for the market from 2022 onwards. “As the industry continues to recover globally, it remains an attractive investment landscape, attracting new ventures and setting the stage for future developments,” concludes the report.
Fitch Ratings paints a more sombre outlook for the industry reflecting what it perceives as slowing economic growth in 2023, with high inflation and rising interest rates offsetting strong sector fundaments.
Speaking to FutureIoT at the 2023 Year in Infrastructure and Going Digital Awards, Dustin Parkman, vice president for Transportation at Bentley Systems, believes that the ongoing transformation of the sector may have been led (or kickstarted) by China and its One Belt/One Road initiative.
What is different about recent developments, he reckons, is diversification outside of China, in places such as India, as well as Southeast Asian countries.
“What we're seeing particularly in urban areas is a change in attitude, particularly in as far as how projects are done,” he started. “The engineering methods in transportation tend to be rooted in tradition for a very long time. You can argue there is resistance to change.”
However, he acknowledged that resistance to change is peeling away as a result of a combination of a greater number of more complex technical projects, involving more subcontractors – meaning more people to coordinate and collaborate with, and a greater reliance on data to support these mega projects.”
Demand for BIMs on the rise
The concept of Business Information Modelling (BIM) has been around for decades. Its evolution, however, may have accelerated with the development of the Internet and the realisation that digital connectivity facilitates even higher productivity while lowering the chances for errors.
Parkman noted that BIM allows different engineering disciplines and planners to coordinate and share their information.
“You have people that are designing roads, people that are designing and engineering bridges, tunnels, and drainage. All these things come together to form a complex system. Despite this complexity, BIM allows those participants to share their data and be able to match it up in 3D space and allows them to identify all the different mismatches that happen.”Dustin Parkman
He opined that BIM helps mismatches be identified and sorted out during construction. “This way you can identify potential problems much earlier in the design and engineering phase because you are essentially able to simulate the construction.”
Click on the video to see Parkman’s responses to the following:
- Provide of state of where we are in Asia's transportation sector.
- Which technologies are proving to be effective tools in the modernisation of public transportation?
- What are the top challenges slowing/hindering modernisation?
- How/where do you see data-centric digital workflows supporting modernisation?
- How do you see AI/ML technologies being applied (low-value to high-value) to support modernisation?