Challenge: AI for Damage Inspection of Bridges and Dams

Aging infrastructure is becoming an increasing problem all around the world. Traffic volumes have risen tremendously and trucks have become heavier which has resulted in increasing pressure on infrastructure. Securing the safety of public constructions is getting more expensive and more difficult to keep up with. The Ponte Morandi viaduct collapse in Italy in 2018 taking 43 lives is just one of the many examples of how serious the problem has become in recent years.

Infrastructure inspection requires requires knowledge and competences.

Infrastructure inspection requires an increasing level of required knowledge and competences. The depth of analyses, inspections and research, and therefore the costs, are increasing. Rijkswaterstaat is a government organization responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands. There are more than 1100 bridges, 92 locks and other public works, some dating back to the 1950s and 60s, that have to be maintained.

Improving inspection using drones and AI

Rijkswaterstaat partnered up with the FruitPunch AI community to improve remote inspection of dutch infrastructure using drone image data and increase the efficiency of inspection with the help of AI. This challenge will be working with the data from preservation inspections. Preservation inspection is a combination of inspection and desk study to identify risks in good time and translate them into management measures to guarantee the long-term functioning and performance of bridges and water works.

Purpose of the challenge

Use computer vision models to allow detection of structural damage to objects in public space by drones There is an existing model used to detect cracks in drone-images of bridges, locks (sluizen), dykes and other public works. The goal of this challenge is to upgrade this model and explore further avenues to improve remote inspection.

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