One of the biggest buzzwords in the AEC world today is the concept of “digital twins,” which has long been looked at as just a buzzword without real, tangible value. That viewpoint is certainly beginning to change, with the accessibility of these tools continuing to improve as time goes on. The market certainly supports the idea that these are no longer just a high-concept buzzword but rather a highly valuable tool that companies need to be utilizing, with one estimate projecting the digital twin industry to be reach $125.7 billion USD by 2030, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.48 percent over that time. Generally, this technology is most associated with construction projects for individual buildings, although the idea of the industrial metaverse is widening that scope. That said, plenty of spaces can benefit from the insights provided by digital twins, with traffic management being one such example.
We bring that up because of a recent announcement from software company Phocaz, who earlier this month announced the official release of their new Traffic Design Data Manager, which is powered by Bentley Systems’ iTwin Platform. That traffic design is able to work (mostly) seamlessly is something that many of us likely take for granted, but is a very intricate process with constantly changing factors to consider and a lot of moving parts to consider. Phocaz’ new solution aims to fix these problems, leveraging the Bentley iTwin platform to aggregate design data and graphic workflows. At a high level, the goal for the program is to simplify the massive amounts of data that need to be taken into account by transportation agencies to more easily collect insights and make decisions based on that data.
The program was originally built for Florida’s Department of Transportation, and is now available to be added for other agencies. Phocaz boasts that with the program, agencies will be able to save time with the ability to automatically capture potential quality issues, no longer needing to undertake the often tedious process of checking and re-checking potential design issues. They also note an increased data trust across discipline domains and silos by improving data integrity. Finally, they call out the elimination of paper – a win for both costs and sustainability goals – for quality assurance and quality control.
More broadly, Traffic Design Manager works to eliminate an issue that is all too common in AEC adjacent industries, which is a number of siloed departments working with different programs that do not work well together. This program works to fight that by aggregating data and graphic workflows from across discipline domains, all within the same environment without the need to export to different file formats. Additionally, the program is web browser-based rather than being a separate application, making it significantly easier to access for many people and simple to use. Moving forward, Phocaz notes that they are looking to include more quality testing, adding support for new reporting capabilities, and adding enhancements to issue reporting and tracking. They are hoping to make these changes at some point in 2022, as well as building automated quality agents to notify design leaders of issues, eliminating the need for visual inspections of the design.
Bentley’s iTwin platform has been a game-changer for many different applications as they continue to partner with emerging solutions for a variety of use cases. Just within the last few months, they’ve announced partnerships with digital twin platforms like AKULAR and SmartViz, as well as safety platforms like Digital Energy’s ODIN. With the iTwin partner program, Bentley Systems provides a solid, established foundation on which emerging companies can build SaaS solutions to design, build, and operate their platforms. By providing that foundation, they allow the young companies to focus on what they know best to more easily and effectively build out their vision.
On this partnership with Phocaz, Adam Klatzkin, Vice President of the iTwin Platforms at Bentley Systems, said, “We are very pleased to have Phocaz add their Traffic Design Data Manager application to the Powered by iTwin program. In doing so, Phocaz joins the growing ecosystem of software developers enabling digital twin solutions with the Bentley iTwin platform. Traffic Design Data Manager is a great example of how digital twin technologies can improve roadway design and construction by automating the capture of design quality issues and increasing data trust across traditionally siloed discipline domains.”