Five emerging construction tech trends will impact worker productivity, safety and collaboration

by Brianna Crandall — January 1, 2018 — According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), five emerging technology trends to watch for on construction jobsites in 2018 will impact worker productivity, safety and collaboration. The trends are explained below.


AEM’s first trend to watch in 2018 is telematics. Telematics equipment tracking and monitoring solutions enable instant access to important vehicle information, encompassing location tracking, remote diagnostics, engine predictive maintenance, and fuel management. This tech knowledge optimizes equipment operation, increasing worker safety and security.


Another trend AEM says to look for in 2018 is electronics and sensors being added to helmets, glasses, vests, headgear, badges, watches, wearable scanners, and more. The result: wearables with smart technology can provide workers with greater productivity and heightened safety at the jobsite.

Autonomous equipment

Safety and operational aspects of construction equipment solutions for 2018 will include autonomous features, the third trend AEM says to watch for. These systems change behaviors without being explicitly programmed, based on data collected, usage analysis and other observations. Autonomous sometimes can mean automatic, as in automatic braking when an object is detected in the path of the equipment, or automatic shutdown of the equipment if it is overheating.


While construction software solutions are not new, they continue to evolve and are the fourth trend AEM lists for 2018. From building information modeling (BIM) to construction management software, AEM says to look for these solutions in 2018 to help increase collaboration and efficiencies within the project team by connecting everyone involved with a digital platform to make changes and update information.

Augmented/virtual reality

The final tech trend AEM says to be aware of in 2018 is AR and VR. Visualizing a finished project can be challenging, but that has changed as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) provide insights for contractors. Head-up displays incorporating both AR and VR are gaining in popularity. Instructions, along with other necessary details, can be displayed in the line of sight.

As new solutions emerge on not only the jobsite but also everywhere in construction, they are sparking new opportunities, concludes the organization.

AEM’s Thinking Forward thought-leadership initiative continues to explore emerging trends and technologies in the equipment manufacturing industry.