The Kansas Department of Transportation (KSDOT) is beginning a pilot project to determine how drones could be used in future road design work, employing UAV technology in conjunction with a road project for the first time last week.
KSDOT has contracted the Kirkham Michael engineering firm to operate the fixed-wing drone back and forth above part of the U.S. 75 highway in northern Jackson County. The device is equipped with a still camera that takes hundreds of images of the terrain below.
KSDOT is looking at making U.S. 75 safer between Holton in Jackson County and Fairview in Brown County. The department and the engineering firm are collaborating on the project and will survey and design a passing lane and 2-mile section of U.S. 75.
According to project officials, there are many advantages to using drones for road survey work, particularly in terms of safety for road crews as well as the time difference between using drones as opposed to doing traditional survey work. Officials could be using UAVs for road work in the future if the pilot is successful.
Source: The Associated Press via Wichita Eagle