Brazil
Feature

AI in infrastructure: A long road to travel

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2019
While artificial intelligence in the mining or oil and gas sectors steadily improves operations, using this technology in infrastructure is still in its infancy. 
 
“In the area of infrastructure and construction the use of technology in general, not only artificial intelligence, is well behind other sectors and this explains the high level of loss in the area,” Sylvio Mode, president of the Brazilian unit of Autodesk, a US graphics software vendor, told BNamericas. 
 
According to the executive, no serious studies have been carried out to explore AI in the segment. 
 
Mode reckons that “for many years infrastructure and construction companies in Brazil operated with high margins, and in this picture, they were not concerned with investments to improve their productivity.” 
 
But change is coming. 
 
“First we need to recognize that in recent years infrastructure companies in Brazil suffered under a reduction of revenues, and with that most companies reduced their investments in innovations in general,” Januário Dolores, president of Camargo Corrêa Infra, the engineering and construction arm of conglomerate Camargo Corrêa, told BNamericas. 
 
According to Dolores, it is difficult for CEOs of construction companies to convince their boards to authorize investments in innovations during periods of revenues contraction, as most losses materialize in the medium and long terms. 
 
“I recognize that as the president of Camargo Corrêa Infra I am a privileged executive, because the board of the company understands very well how important it is to invest in technology and innovations,” Dolores said.
 
For this year, the company plans to invest up to 20mn reais (US$4.93mn) in innovation. 
 
According to the executive, the infrastructure sector, mainly civil construction, is behind other sectors in innovation, also globally. 
 
“Recently, I was considering to acquire trucks using electric energy for our operations. I visited events and congresses across the globe and I was not able to find a good solution for us,” Dolores said.
 
AI USE
 
Despite these challenges, certain areas in infrastructure - especially the highways sector - are using artificial intelligence already. 
 
“In terms of the highways [artificial intelligence] is mostly used to combat cargo theft as part of public safety efforts. Today in our information control center, we have updates on conditions that are almost in real time,” Giovanni Pengue Filho, head of São Paulo state transport agency Artesp, said. 
 
“Three years ago we started having smart cameras and these cameras have software that can read images. Today, if a car stops in a tunnel the camera detects that immediately and contacts the rescue [service],” he added.
 
In addition, Artesp also used artificial intelligence to see if highway concessionaires are making the necessary investments. 
 
Current AI use in the segment focuses mainly on security. 
 
Recently, São Paulo state announced that it invested 12.6mn reais in a new system to establish intelligent safety solutions on state highways.
 
“We are also putting the concept of artificial intelligence in place so that we can simulate situations and get a predictive view of events on the highways,” logistics and transportation secretary João Octaviano said.

Subscribe to the most trusted business intelligence platform in Latin America. Let us show you our solutions for Suppliers, Contractors, Operators, Government, Legal, Financial and Insurance.

Subscribe to Latin America’s most trusted business intelligence platform.

Other projects in: Infrastructure (Brazil)

Get critical information about thousands of Infrastructure projects in Latin America: what stages they're in, capex, related companies, contacts and more.

  • Project: TRACKS
  • Current stage: Blurred
  • Updated: 2 years ago

Other companies in: Infrastructure (Brazil)

Get critical information about thousands of Infrastructure companies in Latin America: their projects, contacts, shareholders, related news and more.

  • Company: Reunion Engenharia Ltda  (Reunion Engenharia)
  • The description contained in this profile is taken directly from an official source and has not been edited or modified by BNamericas researchers, but may have been machine tran...
  • Company: AUTPRO Elétrica e Automação Ltda.  (AUTPRO)
  • The description contained in this profile is taken directly from an official source and has not been edited or modified by BNamericas researchers, but may have been machine tran...
  • Company: Minerbo Fuchs Engenharia S.A.  (Minerbo Fuchs)
  • The description contained in this profile is taken directly from an official source and has not been edited or modified by BNamericas researchers, but may have been machine tran...