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Envisioning a Transformation in the Future of Tunneling

    Our group has recently published a paper titled “Shaping the Future of Tunneling with Data and Emerging Technologies,” authored by Dayu Apoji, Prof. Kenichi Soga, and Prof. Brian Sheil of The University of Cambridge, UK, in the Data-Centric Engineering Journal. This work envisions the potential integration of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems, and bio-inspired designs, as key enablers to revolutionize the mechanized tunneling industry.

    This paper sheds light on the vast potential of these technologies to transform tunnel construction and highlights significant challenges that could impede their integration. It emphasizes the need for ongoing research and development to overcome these obstacles. By highlighting the maturity of several technological advancements, the paper foresees a transformative shift in the tunneling industry. It underscores the importance of stakeholders in this sector to be prepared to adapt to this changing paradigm and harness the possibilities and benefits of emerging technologies.

    Simulation of TBM steering control simulations using multi-output supervised learning as the AI system. The AI simulation results (blue bars) are compared to steering control parameters determined by the human operator from real TBM operation data (red bars)