Wirtgen snaps up innovation award at Bauma

Field Rover uses on-site GPS mapping to control slipform paver

The geo-spatial positioning system is accurate to 15mm.
The geo-spatial positioning system is accurate to 15mm.
Wirtgen says the technology will revolutionise road construction.
Wirtgen says the technology will revolutionise road construction.

Wirtgen has received a Bauma innovation award for its fully automatic, string line-free concrete paving method for slipform pavers, the AutoPilot Field Rover, which utilises GPS control and on-the-spot surveying.

The technology will speed up road construction, improve accuracy and quality, and lower material costs, says Wirtgen, and was awarded in the 'Machinery Component' category at Bauma.

The system uses a hand-held GPS reference station, which the operator uses to map out the paving line. The data are transferred via USB stick to the slipform paver, which then automatically follows the path via the use of two GNSS sensors installed on the machine.

Unlike conventional stringline-free 3D-systems currently available on the market which can only be operated by personnel trained in surveying, the AutoPilot Field Rover is designed for simple operation by the machine operator, rendering special training unnecessary, says the company.

A highlight of the Field Rover is that the software calculates the optimum course on the basis of the measured points, creating a virtual stringline. And since the data are collected on site immediately prior to beginning the job, it can take into account deviations from surveying plans, such as a hydrant positioned incorrectly.

3500 metres without a stringline

The system was used earlier this year by a German road contracting company, VSB infra GmbH & Co. KG, Dortmund, which first used it for the construction of a 3.5km-long concrete protection wall on a highway project.

VSB infra completely dispensed with the use of stringlines, with the construction manager recording measuring points at intervals of 20 metres with the Field Rover a few days before beginning construction.

The recorded data can be viewed on the Field Rover display and re-edited if necessary.

See a video of the new technology below:


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