There are many ways that one can monitor traffic on highways, such as using cameras placed along the highway. However could there be a better, more efficient, and more dynamic way of monitoring traffic? The folks at the Ohio State University seem to think that using drones to monitor traffic could be a viable solution.
According to the University, “Low-altitude drones will monitor traffic and incident response along the U.S. 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, a 35-mile stretch between Dublin and East Liberty, in conjunction with the state’s current fixed-location traffic camera system. Sensors and communication equipment will feed UAS detection and tracking data to the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Traffic Management Center. The Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) solution will enable ODOT to respond more rapidly and effectively to situations on the road.”
Basically since drones are more mobile compared to fixed cameras, they’re hoping that the use of drones will allow them to spot any accidents or issues on the road faster, thus allowing them to respond to such situations in a more timely manner which could also potentially reduce a traffic pile up.
That being said, there are some clear drawbacks to using drones and that is its battery. Since most commercial drones weren’t designed to fly for prolonged periods of time, this means that constant monitoring might not be particularly feasible, but we suppose we’ll have to wait for the results of this pilot program to know if they are effective to begin with.