Campus Units

Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Conference on Autonomous and Robotic Construction of Infrastructure

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Autonomous and Robotic Construction of Infrastructure

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Last Page


Conference Title

Conference on Autonomous and Robotic Construction of Infrastructure

Conference Date

June 2-3, 2015


Ames, IA


The adoption of 3D modeling and automatic machine guidance (AMG) are becoming more popular in the transportation industry. With a 3D model uploaded to an on-board computer within a piece of heavy construction equipment, operators can easily monitor machine operations with respect to grad and location or engage the machine to produce the proper grade automatically. Thus, it provides great convenience and improved productivity for field workers. AMG and 3D modeling have been identified as enabling technologies for a Civil Integrated Management (CIM) system. When CIM is implemented, an entire transportation agency and stakeholder partners share in the use and development of a common data pool that is accessible to authorized users involved with all phases of a transportation facility life cycle (such as planning, design, construction, maintenance and rehabilitation) and all departments in the agency (Administration, finance, operation and others). The concept of CIM was developed and promoted by the United States Federal Highway Administration in 2013 and was established to make better use of accurate data and information that results from the utilization of advanced technologies and/or tools thus to facilitate more effective decision making for transportation projects. Using the CIM concept and framework, technologies such as 3D modeling and AMG could be more efficiently adopted within the full life cycle of a transportation facility. More importantly, data could be collected and managed systematically in the early phases of a project life cycle so they could be useful for later phases of the facility lifecycle. The purpose of this study is to investigate how CIM system could support autonomous construction and vice versa. During a domestic scan effort, seven state agencies and their contractors collaborated to present their extensive experiences on certain CIM related practices and tools. In particular, the experiences of the agencies that were under investigation regarding 3D modeling and AMG will be addressed in this paper. In addition, the benefits and challenges of using 3D modeling and AMG will also be discussed.


This is a paper from Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Autonomous and Robotic Construction of Infrastructure, which can be found in full at:

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Iowa State University



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