Digital Twin

The use of digital twin technology in asset management brings a complementary partnership. Through their ability to predict downtime and failures, streamline maintenance procedures, and bring innovative solutions to complex problems, any digital twin has potential to help an organisation build value.

Shanghai, China’s largest city, can now boast its own virtual clone. The digital twin covers almost 4,000 square kilometres and was created using information accessed from the real world, including satellites, drones and sensors. Beijing company, 51 World partnered with Unreal Engine to create Shanghai’s clone. Using technology seen in games such as Minecraft, the clone includes lifelike shading effects that follow weather patterns and the rising and setting of the sun, known as photorealistic visuals, and creates a precise virtual representation of physical assets.

The digital twin uses data from these real-life assets to inform decision-making that ranges from minor adjustments to an individual building or a major addition such as planning future housing developments. The data is constantly kept current, with detail even down to the placement of bus stops. The potential for any digital twin is enormous, including the possibility of future models capable of autonomous decision-making.

Urban crowding is a predicament faced by many cities. With this likely to only increase in the future, the Shanghai clone will be an essential avenue to shape the city in the future. Digital twins play a critical role in future-proofing cities, their public infrastructure and privately owned assets due to accuracy in predicting depreciation patterns, condition monitoring, repairs and maintenance procedures, and decommissioning of aging assets. The capacity for digital twins to inform asset management strategies to bolster infrastructure and other assets in the face of future pandemics and climate change will undoubtedly increase their effectiveness and benefit.

For more information regarding the Shanghai clone, please click here.

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