Agencies are becoming more reliant on asset inventory and condition data to create a virtual digital twin to the real-world assets that exist and change over time. Changes can result from crashes, natural events, maintenance, or construction activities. These changes need to be reflected in the digital twin as close to real time as possible to maintain the usefulness and validity of the virtual twin.
Emerging and current technologies hold the promise of transforming asset data collection for transportation asset management such as the use of drones for inspections, LiDAR field data collection, and continuous monitoring of real-time sensor data. While the technology has been transforming, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (Fast Act) jump started many agencies’ efforts to attain an inventory of infrastructure assets and transportation data. At the same time, the accessibility and affordability to collect high volumes of asset inventory data—such as LiDAR point cloud data—present a challenge to agencies seeking to visualize and manage such large amounts of data and integrate the many layers for each transportation asset management plan. Now that the need for such data is federally recognized, further research is needed to understand what the latest technologies for asset management can offer an agency as well as how frequently that information needs to be captured and optimized.
State and local transportation agencies are rapidly adopting asset management practices to optimize infrastructure conditions for the resources available and to meet federal transportation asset management planning reporting requirements. There is a profound need to invest in technology and systems to understand the fully inventoried condition of various transportation assets and to model the outcomes of various investment strategies. The purpose of this research is to examine emerging and established technologies used to capture and update changes to assets in the field and the necessary steps to ensure that these changes are processed and integrated into the authoritative systems as close to real time as possible. This examination will help determine the utility of the data, and how to collect, manage, and apply it more effectively.