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Mooven: Seeing more

Mooven’s software and hardware offerings are helping to increase the accuracy and effectiveness of infrastructure monitoring and reporting.

Mooven has placed itself as an influencer in the compliance and monitoring space, guiding both infrastructure projects and general road agency duties towards success. Here’s how. 

Why do construction projects often exceed cost and time targets?

Financial pressures, skilled personnel and materials shortages and other factors all play their part. But so does a desire to reduce community disruption when paired with a lack of actionable insight on current road conditions or the real traffic impacts          

Mooven, a performance monitoring, program optimisation and community engagement platform, was founded upon this premise. How can we work faster and reduce delays by better aligning construction to the needs of cities?

The company focuses on providing a platform by which both government and public contractors can have more accurate and informative project data, helping to minimise the impacts from unforeseen events, as well as associated complexities around project delivery.

Mooven Co-Founder and CEO, Micah Gabriels, says this fine balance can often topple over, especially in metropolitan areas.

“In a city like Melbourne, there’s a lot of tension you can feel between getting major infrastructure works done efficiently and living in the city at the same time,” he says. “Typically, if there’s concern about traffic impacts, the status quo is to push construction activity outside of busy times.    

“The problem is, the information used to make these decisions is often based on annual traffic assumptions across entire cities. Plus a fear of disruption, the unpredictable nature of cities and often lengthy construction times force a set of rules tailored to worst case scenario. Why should we care about this? Inefficient delivery increases costs and timeframes. Our customers frequently reduce project durations by 50 per cent or more by simply using a rich and accurate understanding of the conditions to tailor their work to the specific location.”

“That’s the really fun part, putting leading data, AI and technology in the hands of delivery teams so they can work smarter each day is a game-changer. And a shift that is disproportionate to other initiatives.”   

Mooven’s technological portfolio can provide a service that enables both government and public contractors to better measure important factors around their worksites. This can lead to opportunities that may not have been previously available, to create important savings in project cost and the time required for completion. Most importantly, creating trust and confidence across parties.

“We’ve been developing this approach, where we can grab data from a wider range of sources to truly understand what is going on, and why,” Gabriels says. “We overlay the data teams use today with connected vehicle data for live traffic, information on public transport routes and broader context like how many businesses are nearby when they’re open and events.”               

“You can get a really rich picture of why the city is busy, as well as [importantly] predict if it’s going to be busy in your location in the future. It’s completely changing the game for people.”

“The true enabler for change though is being able to accurately monitor what is actually happening during delivery. Without this compliance trail, you can’t build trust amongst the wider range of stakeholders involved in these projects.”

Mooven has embraced a no-hardware approach using what’s known as ‘floating vehicle data’ to help customers more quickly, reliably, safely and cost-effectively get the information they need. This has resulted in the replacement of Bluetooth technology as the primary and preferred source of gathering traffic and site condition data.

Mooven Co-Founder and CEO, Micah Gabriels.
Mooven Co-Founder and CEO, Micah Gabriels.

This approach has also been verified by the Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland, which certified that Mooven’s floating vehicle data approach was not susceptible to the same data gaps that have been seen in Bluetooth data.   

Gabriels was quick to point out that hardware still plays a valuable role. 

“We use a wide range of hardware, it’s just about picking the best tool for the job,” he says.  

Mooven software and hardware have been used in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, New Zealand, and the United States.

Interestingly, Gabriels explains that there is still some resistance to what he explains as a more holistic and ideal solution to the demands being placed on construction staff as a result of Australia’s infrastructure pipeline.

“It’s a really interesting journey.  There’s great intention and widespread belief in the adoption of technology to address the sectors’ challenges and to catch up with other industries. However, this butts heads with inertia and a current system that penalises people from stepping outside of the box –ticketing processes – that most people would say over a beer, do a poor job of achieving the desired outcomes,” he says. 


 

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One aspect of this innovation is the intelligent management of incidents, events and network performance.  

“If I’m the paving manager doing asphalt, how do I decide when and where I’m going to work? We can look at the traffic behaviour and what’s going on. We can look at the weather. We can look at all these different inputs that are really relevant to the sector,” he says.

While there may be a considerable amount of data pooled, Mooven’s goal is to continually work to increase the simplicity and accessibility of its data, ensuring that staff in different roles and organisation types can all understand the projected implications.

Mooven’s platform also allows live conditions to be monitored against project KPIs, with monitoring also removing the need for site visits in some cases.

“We’ve been putting a lot of time and resources into our reporting. We’re using a lot of graphs and profiles that people are familiar with, clearly depicting when they’re going to work and what that could look like,” he says.

“We’ve also started using generative AI to produce clear summaries. AI helps turn data and insight into a simple sentence in plain language that’s really easy to understand.”

Gabriels says there’s an opportunity for standardisation across all states and territories, which would help to establish an even playing field and universal application of compliance and monitoring equipment.

“Everyone is trying to achieve the same thing, they’re just doing it all in a bespoke way themselves and not sharing. There’s definitely an opportunity to standardise across the board,” he says.

“That’s what gets us really excited about the sector as a whole, is having that ability to share data and have more integrations between more of these systems. The challenge is getting everyone on that treadmill together.”

Despite this disconnection, Australia is still poised as a greater embracer and user of compliance technology and monitoring than the United States, but just short of the United Kingdom. Mooven has experience in all three markets.

Gabriels says international best practice has shown there’s still room for growth, but Australia remains to be quite progressive in this area.

“There’s already been some amazing results with individual projects and individual customers, some have been able to reach transformational results,” he says. 

“We’re now working to unlock the benefits of plumbing multiple contractors and programs of work in a city, into an intelligent ecosystem that unlocks wider value for all parties.”    

Gabriels says this also applies to other providers in the market, even some of Mooven’s competitors. He says a connected environment would help to advance Australia’s national construction sector, providing benefits for all. A notion that is reflected in the company’s values.

“Our values are ‘don’t hold back, lean into the unknown, own our space and better together’,” he says. “It’s very important for us to understand that if we do something that’s amazing, but it doesn’t benefit the wider sector or is out of step with others, then it’s probably not a smart move.

“We’ve really got to think about this, as if it’s a team sport, not an individual sport. We can work together to drive this forward,” he says.

Mooven is already putting this in place by leveraging insights across parties. “If there’s an issue in one area, we can easily notify others so they adjust their plans accordingly.”

“We see this as a way to drive change from the bottom up. Rather than trying to push top-down coordination in a sector where tomorrow can’t be predicted or controlled, it’s about giving the people – delivering thousands of jobs – operational intelligence and simple next actions. Being smarter and more coordinated would transform so much of what we do, and how we do it.”

Mooven’s approach centres on giving people who may typically be information-poor, the perspective they need.

“It’s like being on the side of a road, seeing as far as you can, but never being able to see around the corner. Now you can,” Gabriels says.

“It’s really exciting when you think about this innovation, not just the technology itself, but seeing how that comes into place and how it fits in a real-world application. I’m fascinated to see where it all leads.” 

This article was originally published in the May edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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