Balfour Beatty has revealed its vision for the digital future of the construction industry, which it says could see a human-free construction site by 2050.
With scans carried out by drones, autonomous vehicles delivering materials, and robotic cranes carrying out lifting operations, the predicted transformation will tally with a change in the skills base needed by the construction industry.
Talking about the discrepancy between the current construction skills crunch and a vision of a human-free construction site, Balfour Beatty group chief executive Leo Quinn said: ”There will be a whole skills movement from frontline to back room roles.”
Quinn was talking at the launch event for the firm’s latest paper, Innovation 2050: A Digital Future for the Infrastructure Industry. The paper talks about the role of the human overseer who will remotely manage projects. In the rare instances where people are onsite, neural-control technology could move and control robots.
Other predictions for 2050 are a industry that is more innovative and less risk averse, new business models, new materials which respond to surroundings, robots becoming prevalent and construction getting faster.