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It is evident that the practice of civil engineering is evolving, incorporating digital, cellular, and mobile technologies. One effective illustration of such technology is autopilot. In this case, the drivers' input is minimal and the vehicles are controlled autonomously. The number of accidents on the road, the smooth flow of traffic along main thoroughfares, controlled tire pressure, and even the ability to find their way back home in case of driver loss will all be significantly decreased by such vehicles.
Intelligent bridges would be built using these technologies. This enables bridges to be fitted with sensors that detect possible icing or snow, triggering the guardrails which spray anti-icing hence the crew using the bridge are not affected. It enables the bridges to be fitted with devices that detect cracks or corrosion on the whole structure. A good example is the Interstate 495 Bridge over the Christina River in Wilmington.
Technology facilitates the mobile data donation. This involves usage of the street bump application, which is fitted with a GPS and placed on the car’s dashboard. Once the car is in motion and hits a pothole, signals are sent to the server and civil engineers are alerted on the same to fill it. This is a great innovation plan as it would enable roads to be easily maintained and managed.
Weight scanners are among the major advancement technology has equipped civil engineering with. This involves fitting roads with scanners that record weight of vehicles passing on the road is hence facilitating elimination of overweight vehicles along the roads.
University education equips one with the necessary knowledge about civil engineering tools. Here, one can learn how the different technological equipment operates, how to react to a certain emergency or even how to correct a default which has occurred (Reston, 2008). For instance, one gets to learn how the autopilot vehicles operate, how to fit the bridges with sensors or how to operate the street bump application. After this, training is essential as one practically applies what he or she learns in class. For instance, one needs to be shown how to fit the sensors, how the street bump works or even how the autopilot vehicles are controlled.
Article by Henry Petroski from the book Road Ahead.
Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century: Preparing the Civil Engineer for the Future. Reston, Va: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2008. Print
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