INDUSTRY INSIGHT: UAVs hold the key to keeping Britain’s roads running smoothly

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Unmanned aerial systems could reshape the nation’s management of traffic and the vast network of roads, claims Coverdrone.

The commercial drone insurance provider has provided an industry insight report, outlining how drones could potentially impact the UK’s highways.

Coverdrone’s Jules Hornbrook explained that whilst the UK hosts a complex infrastructure of roads, the majority of the nation’s 246,500 miles of road consists of minor roads.

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Hornbrook commented: “When you drill down the statistics, major roads account for only 12.7% of total UK road length. That means that a lot of minor roads (87.3% of the UK’s roads) are potentially very isolated. Response times are usually driven by numbers of vehicles using certain stretches of road. Because so many cars travel along the key arteries (M1 motorway, M6, M25, M62 etc), that’s where many of the bottlenecks, accidents and breakdowns occur.

“Drones could perform many roles monitoring Britain’s roads. However, one regularly contentious topic is the condition of road surfaces. It’s almost impossible for highway patrols and councils to visit every pothole and assess the urgency to repair. There are limited vehicles, plus with traffic flowing 24/7 it’s hard to check the damage. It’s the motorists that notice how bad they are.

“Drones could gather such data on potholes as part of regular surveys of the roads, even when sent to assess specific incidents. Video and static photos could be transmitted for assessment, so maintenance teams could respond to specific complaints by the public to decide if immediate action was required.”

As well as offering quicker and more up-to-date traffic updates, drones could gather such data on road conditions, such as potholes as part of regular surveys of the roads.

Video and static photos could be transmitted for assessment, so maintenance teams could respond to specific complaints by the public to decide if immediate action was required.

Tags : CoverdroneRoad managementUAVUAV Road management
Emma Calder

The author Emma Calder

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