A child experiencing a city through Urban95 virtual reality; A child experiencing a city through Urban95 virtual reality;

Services

Emerging technologies

Digital hub

New technologies are appearing and evolving at incredible speed. We can help you to take advantage of their power, develop new capabilities and produce step-change improvements in your building, asset or organisation.

Will Cavendish

Will Cavendish

Global Digital Services Leader

Digital hub

New technologies are appearing and evolving at incredible speed. We can help you to take advantage of their power, develop new capabilities and produce step-change improvements in your building, asset or organisation.

Will Cavendish

Will Cavendish

Global Digital Services Leader

Innovation that works for you

Today’s emerging technologies are changing how we approach the built environment. The consumer gaming industry has made powerful and inexpensive 3D visualisation tools available to designers, architects and engineers. Fast data networks originally built for mobile phones are now connecting inexpensive sensors to power digital twins, offering a new level of asset management. Augmented reality and LIDAR technology are improving the way our engineers plan buildings, making construction safer.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

At their heart, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are powerful new analytical technologies that enhance our ability to design and manage the built environment in ways that meet human needs and deliver net zero goals. In Arup, we have brought AI/ML into the heart of our work, for example to chart new pathways to net zero for whole cities, to understand better the lifespan of assets and the causes of failure, and to design complex buildings with new materials and reduced carbon.

For the City of Shanghai we built a land analysis tool that can help city planners to understand how land is being used, and improve their ability to site new developments or plan flood protection measures.

Using machine learning to predict maintenance needs

For Northern Ireland Water, we’ve developed a machine learning tool that can predict when water filters need maintenance, learning from changing seasonal levels of impurities that pass through the system, helping managers to save resources and energy.

Learn more about how we're using machine learning

Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality

The value of virtual and augmented reality was obvious to designers and engineers from the start. We have used this technology to help decision makers experience design options for the UK’s new High Speed 2 lines, modelling everything from the in-carriage experience to the noise implications for places affected by the route.

In another context entirely, our YARD AR/MR tool enables designers to test placement of structures and assets in a physical location, allowing clients, communities and creative teams to understand the implications of design options. Our International Development teams are also using it to help decision-making in improvised refugee settlements.

Digital fabrication

New technology is changing the physical form of construction itself too. We have been pioneering additive manufacturing and other digital fabrication techniques to produce incredible and unique structures like the MX3D bridge in Amsterdam, or the thousands of individual stones that will complete Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The technique’s precision means it also has the potential to radically reduce waste during construction.

Completing La Sagrada Familia: a collaboration in digital and stone

Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia church is due for completion in 2026, one hundred years after his death. In 2014, with the building 60% complete, Arup was asked to help with the remaining structural design, particularly how to produce the remaining six towers. We developed a scheme using the stone itself as structure, modelling each component in 3D.

Learn more about our work

Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs)

Every year, the promise of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) moves closer to its realisation. As with many digital innovations, much of the value is only possible when technology works in harmony with other human and physical constraints. Our work explores explores the technological, operational and ethical challenges, as well as the potential road safety gains.

Explore our work with AVs

Drone mapping

Another inexpensive but powerful consumer technology, we increasingly use drones to bring new levels of ease and detail to site surveying and modelling, environmental analysis and insight.

We have also developed a drone-based façade inspection tool, incredibly valuable for monitoring quality on tall buildings. It photographs building exteriors, assembling a virtual model of the façade using GPS coordinates to map each element together, stores historical repair data and allows owners to plan effective and safe maintenance.


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