AT&T System Lets Bridges Monitor Their Own Structural Integrity

The Internet of Things faces down crumbling infrastructure with an offering from AT&T designed to reduce the cost of manual inspections.

1 minute read

February 10, 2018, 5:00 AM PST

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Greenfield Bridge

David Fulmer / Flickr

While the federal government's intentions on infrastructure remain frustratingly vague, other actors are stepping forward to shore things up. Telecommunications companies for instance. For a price, AT&T's Smart Cities Structure Monitoring system will harness "Internet of Things" tech to monitor the structural soundness of bridges and railroads.

Katie Pyzyk writes, "Battery-operated sensors will monitor structural factors such as cracks, temperature, joint movement and angle changes. The system will take readings every eight hours and send information — including alerts about unsafe structures — to city leaders."

AT&T is marketing the system as a way for cities to save. "Despite the ongoing costs, the automated system has the potential to be more reasonable than consistently performing manual infrastructure inspections and analyses."

Pyzyk goes on, "Municipalities that purchase the system have the option to manage it themselves or to contract with AT&T for management services."

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