As only Greg Bentley can do, he kicked off the YII 2018 conference in London this morning with an impressive vision of transformation that is being simply referred to as “Going Digital.”
LONDON, U.K. – The Year in Infrastructure 2018 Conference – 16 October 2018 – Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the leading global provider of comprehensive software solutions for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure, today announced they are “Going Digital” with the forthcoming availability of iTwin™ Services, digital twin cloud services for infrastructure projects (project digital twins) and assets (performance digital twins). iTwin™ Services can be transparently provisioned within Bentley’s Connected Data Environment (CDE) for ProjectWise and AssetWise users.
Requirements for Realizing the Potential of Infrastructure Digital Twins
Infrastructure asset owners and their teams have recognized the potential for leveraging Going Digital (twins) in many ambitious use cases including the application of analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in simulations and decision support throughout the lifecycle of design, construction, and operations. To realize this potential, representations of assets need obviously to be digital—but to be safely relied upon as a twin there must be practical solutions for their synchronization to changing actual conditions in the real world. Moreover, merely capturing and representing physical conditions, including IoT inputs, can never be sufficient to understand, analyze, or model intended improvements, without also comprehending the “digital DNA” captured in the project or asset’s engineering specifications.
To actually be worthwhile, therefore, would-be digital twins for existing infrastructure must reliably synchronize reflections of both an asset’s physical reality, and its “virtuality” (engineering data). A digital twin can meet this requirement by geospatially converging the digital context (representing the physical) and digital components (representing the virtual), naturally resulting in an immersive environment for both visualization and analytics visibility.
To date, however, the evolving 3D physical reality of an as-operated asset has been too formidably difficult to capture digitally, let alone to keep up-to-date. Meanwhile, corresponding, as-operated engineering information tends to be unavailable or at best, dated, as typically an assortment of effectively inaccessible “dark data” in either opaque engineering files or unintelligent document formats. Bentley has now surmounted both of these challenges, with the confluence of its reality modeling, iModelHub, CDE, and web-visibility technologies.
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