6 top tech stories take a look ahead

By Jenny LescohierDecember 20, 2021

Whether it’s the equipment you will use or how and what you will use it for, there’s no question that construction is poised for a lot of change in the years ahead. We can see evidence of this in the news over the past year. Following are some of the top tech stories in 2021. 

Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble, talks about what infrastructure might look like a decade from now

1. Moving toward the infrastructure of 2030 - When talking about the near- and long-term future of construction, there are two words that inevitably come up: technology and infrastructure. We talked to Bryn Fosburgh, senior vice president at Trimble, for some perspective on how advancing technology might affect the way the infrastructure of the future is developed and utilized.

2. One giant leap: Komatsu develops construction equipment for use on the moon - Today’s construction

Komatsu is developing construction equipment that could be used on the moon

technology already seems out of this world at times, but it just took one giant leap: Komatsu is developing autonomous construction equipment that can operate in space.

Volvo now has five electrically powered machines, the most of any equipment manufacturer

3. Volvo introduces electric compact machines - Volvo CE introduces three new electric compact machines – the L20 Electric, EC18 Electric and ECR18 Electric – bringing its stable of electric models up to five, the largest in the constuction industry. The electric-powered models run on lithium-ion batteries and can be charged using a 220/240-volt electrical socket, the type of outlet many larger home appliances use.

No one in the auto industry saw Tesla coming in 2008, but the company has revolutionized that space. What’s coming for construction?

4. Will construction have a Tesla-like disrupter? - In 2008 no one saw Tesla Motors as much other than a niche electric sports car company. Fast forward 12 years and Tesla is making 500,000 cars a year and is valued higher than the top six car manufacturers combined. Could the same thing happen in the construction equipment world? Could a disrupter enter the sector and win?

5. California contractor shows what digital twins can realistically do

Digital twin technology seems outside of the everyday, but contractors such as Swinerton are already seeing the benefits

for construction - Swinerton, a San Francisco-based commercial construction firm, is using digital twin technology to reduce costs associated with project delays and travel to sites by staff, stakeholders and clients. Here’s how the company has reduced the number of people on a job site and increased on-site efficiency while decreasing risks. 

Doosan’s transparent bucket technology allows operators to see into the pile for better productivity

6. Doosan wheel loader’s ‘transparent bucket’ eliminates front blind spot while digging - The industry’s first ‘transparent bucket’ allows operators to see blind spots in front of the bucket. It works using a monitor in the cockpit that shows images recorded by cameras mounted at the top and bottom of the front of the wheel loader. The combined images are shown in real time using a curved projection method.

Debt ceiling bill launches construction permitting reform
Provisions in the Fiscal Responsibility Bill of 2023 set time limits and scope for environmental review of new federal energy projects
Mecalac’s new compact loaders push the limits of versatility
New hydraulic and maneuverability options, such as M-Drive and Speed Control, are designed to widen the scope of what six new machines can do in terms of both application and industry
Top 10 construction equipment brands revealed
This year’s study shows sales for 2022 were $230.6 billion, one of the highest figures ever recorded in the listing