Mott MacDonald and Continuum Industries have teamed up to combine the best of human and artificial intelligence (AI). This case study showcases how engineers can apply AI to do much faster, more detailed optioneering at the start of any linear project and save millions in project costs.
Plenty has been written about how artificial intelligence (AI) will transform civil engineering. One area where we see obvious applications for AI is in designing linear projects, which consist of repeated sections and are rule-based.
To put this into practice, we devised a test case on water pipelines to solve using both a traditional approach and AI. In the process, we set out to answer two important questions.
We gave experienced engineers in Mott MacDonald’s water team a classic early stage design task:
Design 3 pressurised water pipeline schemes for the lowest whole lifecycle costs.
“We gave them a blank piece of paper and asked them to develop outline designs for different water pipeline schemes from scratch.”
- Adam Cullum, Civil Engineer, Mott MacDonald
Example horizontal route alignments prepared with (yellow) and without AI (blue)
Comparison of design solutions from Approaches 1 & 2:
“Using AI highlighted 7% average savings in lifetime costs in compared with traditional methods.”
- Matt Blythe, Co-Founder, Continuum Industries
Download the full case study to understand how the savings in lifetime costs were achieved.
Example vertical profile for route alignment