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Temperature measurement in asphalt paving (Part III)

A (possible) future of asphalt road construction

One late evening in autumn, year 2029.

The night shift crew appears at the jobsite. At that time the traffic is down and no jams are predicted.

The hybrid powered paver puts up its wheels and down the crawlers for getting from transfer in operational mode. The electric heating of the high compaction screed preheats to 120°C. Just right for the special modified warm mix asphalt.

The paver operator gets ready on the machine while the foreman takes a look at the details for today’s job with the help of his smart glasses. The construction site appear in 3D and the jobsite was planned by the construction manager weeks before.


The paver moves to the edge of the milled surface and turns on the automatic pave start option. By pushing “Start” on his digital cockpit the driver initiates the paving job. Helpful paving parameters appear in his view by the head up display of his paver.

While checking the material flow and the mixing plants online by the uplinked systems the workers always have a look to the temperature of the asphalt.
Suddenly a warning appears simultaneously in the glasses of the foreman and on the head up display of the paver. One of the mixing plants has a breakdown. By accepting the warning the foreman informs the replacement mixing plant to take over and the speed of the paver turns smoothly down to bridge the gap of the lack of material within the next hour.

The paver’s documentation systems marks the coordinates and time of this happening as well as all other important conditions for the jobsite report.
30 minutes later the foreman gets the message that first trucks of the new mixing plant are on the way, rerouted automatically to avoid traffic, and the paver starts to speed up again. A paver stop was not necessary this time due to the good planning and linked systems. Also the temperatures of the mixing plans were synchronized and the asphalt inside the insulated trucks arrived with a uniform temperature.

Two more hours until the jobsite needs to be cleared and the commuter traffic starts again. One more time the foreman checks the parameters and the calculated end of shift. Everything is fine. The last roller ends his predefined pattern 10 minutes before traffic starts and the paver moved to the parking position. The report of the night shift is automatically done by the system and sent to the mailbox of the manager.


For sure, this sounds somehow strange and some might have smiled during reading these lines.

But fact is that most of this is technically already possible. Jumping from the jobsite to the automotive industry you will recognize that the technique behind all this is state of the art.

For sure this is not a long-term vision, 50 years ahead of us. We might talk about 10 to 20 years. Parts of that are already tested within innovation pavers or research jobsites. But we also know by our experience that it takes around 20 years until technology which is successfully established in the automotive industry gets to the machinery of road construction sites.

Let's be curious about what next bauma exhibition will show us ;-)

Summing up, I like to quote a great former German chancellor:

“The one who has visions should go to the doctor.”

mwatermann 11.12.2015 1 3284
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  •  jutta: 
    I really hope that is happening before 2029. It sounds like a less stressful environment than we have today. The key to success, I believe, lays in the fact, that technology has to be easy to implement, it has to be a big improvement compared to the status-quo, and people need to be well trained and feel comfortable to work with new technology.
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