Ferrovial launches Infraverse for Infrastructure Digitalisation and Virtualisation
Ferrovial has unveiled Infraverse: a virtual platform from which to transform, develop and improve its assets and operations. Bringing the metaverse and infrastructure together, the Infraverse reinforces the company’s position as a leader in innovation. Ferrovial is implementing more than 10 projects providing over 100 use cases that combine technologies such as virtual reality and digital twins to strengthen its competitive advantage while fulfilling the goals of its Horizon 24 plan — using innovation to become a more agile, efficient and sustainable company.
The Infraverse represents Ferrovial’s commitment to the digitalisation and virtualisation of its infrastructure. The health and safety of its people, stakeholders and end users is at the core of these developments. The Infraverse accelerates the improvement of the user experience and efficiencies in the full asset lifecycle, representing significant opportunities both in terms of its operations and productivity.
In order to successfully scale the application and use of these technologies, and in line with its open innovation strategy, Ferrovial is building an open ecosystem with leading companies in the technology and video game sector including Microsoft and Unity, in addition to other equally as advanced users of the metaverse.
“For the first time, we are combining advanced visualisation technologies and virtual gaming environments with the operation of real transportation and energy infrastructures. Immersive environments that combine the real world and virtual reality enable interaction between the two and have direct applications in the company’s everyday activities. This interaction affords Ferrovial a strong degree of flexibility in design as well as efficiency in asset management and operation, and it also improves safety for workers and users,” said Rafael Fernández, Innovation Director at Ferrovial.
“In combination with other advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G connectivity, we are driving a new generation of sustainable transport infrastructures to offer our clients efficient solutions as well as achieving advanced operation throughout the asset life cycle,” concluded Fernández.
The metaverse has numerous applications in Ferrovial’s business, providing operational improvements in areas such as design and on-site decision making. This translates into potential cost efficiencies. To ensure the success of everything the company delivers both inside the Infraverse as well as outside of it, Ferrovial has established a network of laboratories in cities such as Madrid, London and Austin. The company is already delivering more than 10 projects providing over 100 use cases, accessed via these Infraverse-labs, that combine technologies such as virtual reality (VR), 3D models, digital twins and artificial intelligence.
Combining the use of digital twins (digital representations of physical assets and processes), with other immersive technologies and behavioural science, enables the company to create simulations using real data to improve operations throughout the asset lifecycle.
The Infraverse-Labs are a gateway to creating immersive collaborative environments within this framework. Devices such as touch screens and HoloLens make it possible for people in different locations to collaborate on projects simultaneously in real time, and to make remote site visits.
This area is of particular importance when considering the benefits from health and safety perspective. Technology plays a key role in preventing accidents and minimising risk. Use of virtual reality and other technology to simulate high risk or operational scenarios is not new for Ferrovial.
However, building on this experience with the SafetyLab initiative offers continuous improvement to this area, whilst ensuring that solutions to high-risk situations can be tested and trialled prior to implementation to prevent high potentials from happening.
SafetyLab, covering more than 15 projects across the business, includes the VR Training Awareness initiative which offers courses that apply virtual reality across all types of risky environments identical to work sites. Virtual reality enables trainees to experience real hazardous scenarios and acquire the necessary knowledge to stay safe.
Simulation is the basis for multiple use cases. It forms the foundation for the use of applied behavioural science in the Infraverse. Analysis of user behaviour coupled with this technology enables Ferrovial to assess whether decisions made during the design phase have a positive impact on infrastructure operation and safety, enabling early modifications to be made to asset designs that would otherwise be impossible or extremely costly.
The metaverse is a digital environment that functions as a reflection of the real world, in which human beings interact both socially and economically through avatars. It promises to definitively eliminate the increasingly blurred line between the real and virtual worlds.
There is a range of definitions of the metaverse and related applications, and investment in the field is expected to expand in the coming years, enabling the construction of 3D virtual spaces in which immersive experiences can be shared with other people, performing everyday activities such as working, playing, meeting with friends, and attending concerts and sporting events. In short, it’s a new world in which to live.
Ferrovial, a leading global infrastructure operator, is committed to developing sustainable solutions. It is a member of Spain’s blue-chip IBEX 35 index and included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and FTSE4Good; all its operations are conducted in compliance with the principles of the UN Global Compact, which the company adopted in 2002.