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The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 54-04 [New]

Mobile Devices as a Tool for Digitalized Project Documentation and Inspection
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $55,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/29/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Leslie C. Harwood
Fiscal Year: 2023

Preliminary Scope

Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, are increasingly used as innovative tools in construction project delivery, documentation, and inspection. Advancements in camera technology combined with increased accuracy in geolocation, graphical displays, and LiDAR abilities provide a very powerful engineering/construction technology that is also widely accessible and used by most construction professionals on jobsites. A sample of mobile device applications that can be utilized by construction professionals include digitalized documents; geolocation of data; augmented reality with engineering precession; capturing 3D images of as-built conditions through built-in LiDAR cameras; access to inspection history; and, improved communications.

The objective of this synthesis is to document state DOT current practices for using mobile devices to support digitized project documentation and inspection.

Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to):
• Areas within DOTs using mobile devices for construction documentation and inspection (e.g., construction, maintenance, planning);
• Inspection functions (e.g., submission of inspection reports, capturing of as-built conditions, and retrieval of inspection documentation) supported through mobile devices;
• Other uses and applications (e.g., building information modeling);
• Specific mobile device technologies (e.g., LiDAR, augmented reality, cellular cameras, and digital display of 3D graphical models) being utilized by inspectors;
• Cost implications for using mobile devices (e.g., capital replacement, operational costs, costs of protective cases);
• Policies and practices regarding the use of personal and/or DOT-issued mobile devices; and
• Barriers and challenges (e.g., connectivity) associated with using mobile devices for construction and inspection.

Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

Information Sources (Partial):
• Obaidat, M. (2020). “Cellular-Phone-Based System for Transportation Engineering Applications”. Elsevier’s Alexandria Engineering Journal. 59(3), pp. 1197-1204.
• Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/. Last accessed February 16, 2022.
• Steenbruggen, J., Tranos, E., and Nijkamp, P. (2015). “Data from Mobile Phone Operators: A Tool for Smarter Cities”. Elsevier’s Telecommunications Policy. 39(3-4), pp. 335-346.
• Ordaz, M., and Doyle, J.D. (2021). “Quantifying Extreme Event-induced Pavement Roughness via Smart Phone Apps”. ASCE Geo-Extreme 2021. November 7-10, 2021. Savannah, Georgia.
• Li, N., and Becerik-Gerber, B. (2012). “Assessment of a Smart Phone-Based Indoor Localization Solution for Improving Context Awareness in the Construction Industry”. ASCE International Conference on Computing in Civil Engineering. June 17-20, 2012. Clearwater Beach, Florida.

TRB Staff
Leslie Harwood
Phone: 202-334-2312
Email: lharwood@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: TBD
Teleconference with Consultant: TBD
Second Panel: TBD

Topic Panel
TBD

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