In this episode of Microsoft Unboxed, our hosts Sonia and Colleen share stories of how companies are using AI in infrastructure – from roads to the bridges we drive on. First, Colleen shares a story from Denmark where AI-enabled drones are monitoring the Great Belt Bridge. Colleen explains why bridges need to be monitored due to the wear and tear over time to prevent cracks forming that may make them unsafe for driving. The monitoring has traditionally been done manually – but this is where AI comes in. Holding company Sund and Bælt partnered with Microsoft to implement a new technique that uses drones and thousands of images of the bridge to be analyzed by AI technology for cracks and safety issues.
Then, Sonia shares the story of how Fairbanks, Alaska is using AI technology to deal with extreme weather and icy road conditions by using Weathercloud, a system of mobile sensors that track road temperature, dew point, precipitation, pavement conditions and more. It gives users local data to determine road conditions and can be used to determine whether or not plows or de-icing chemicals need to be activated. This data provided by the cloud and AI helps the Fairbanks district maintenance superintendent make informed decisions to keep their drivers safe.