Estimating the benefits of effectively and proactively maintaining infrastructure with the innovative Smart Infrastructure sensor system
An innovative sensor system, designated 'Smart Infrastructure,' is being developed jointly by Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. This system provides real-time wireless information about the state of critical infrastructure. The Smart Infrastructure sensors are designed to monitor infrastructure, such as water pipelines, as well as to increase their capabilities for purposes of efficient maintenance. This paper presents a forecasting model that assesses the possible impacts of Smart Infrastructure technology currently being applied to the British water pipe market. In doing so, we identify key benefits of proactively managing infrastructure with such new technology. A probabilistic cost benefit analysis, which takes into account future uncertainty, is conducted using a Monte Carlo simulation. Our findings suggest that if the Smart Infrastructure sensor system is applied to water pipelines in the British market, there are likely to be significant economic benefits. They could be realised by avoiding disruption and damage costs (including water loss) due to water pipe bursts, as well as by reducing annual operating and maintenance costs. The mean cumulative net present value of savings derived from the case scenario for the period through year 2056 was estimated at US$ 23.7 billion.
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