Potential uses for drones include everything from traffic management to inspections of traffic signals after installation or sampling vehicle speed along particular corridors.
A new Georgia Tech study found unmanned aircraft — commonly known as drones — could be used to help the Georgia Department of Transportation count vehicles on the highway to analyze traffic congestion and or to help with accident investigations. The $75,000 study, commissioned by GDOT to explore the potential benefits of drones, came up with more than 40 tasks they could help with. The goal of the study was to “take a look into the future and see how this could help us,” said Georgene Geary, research engineer at GDOT. There could be safety benefits and cost savings, but there’s “still some unanswered questions” for a cost-benefit analysis, she said.