Everything in our lives is becoming “smart.” From the office to the kitchen, even to the bathroom, we are surrounded by devices connected to the internet. Voice assistants listen to our every word, waiting for commands like “Hey Siri” or “Ok Google.” Now, with the help of drones, Ohio is looking to make roadways smarter with their distinctive vantage point.

Putting drones to work

It seems like every day drones find a new purpose and this time it’s helping the Department of Transportation monitor traffic within the state of Ohio. This practice has been implemented in France for a few months now as drones are used to catch drivers not obeying traffic laws. In Ohio, their goal isn’t to hand out more tickets to speeding drivers. It’s to get real-time data on traffic at a cheaper cost than using manned aircraft.

Heading this is the DriveOhio Division of The Ohio Department of Transportation. They oversee the implementation of new tech to monitor traffic data. They have given $6 million to Ohio State University’s College of Engineering to assist them in figuring out how drones can actually be of help.

The team faces the same problem that all other drone companies do and that is government regulation. The current laws put into place by the FAA restricts what they can do significantly, which is something they hope to solve. Jim Gregory, Ohio State professor and Aerospace Research Center director, said:

“Our collaborative work will pave the way for the ultimate vision of safe flight of unmanned aircraft systems throughout Ohio and beyond.”

Not only does his team look to help Ohio use drones to collect traffic data, he wants to shape how the drone industry works as a whole by providing data showing that drones are a safe means of completing tasks.

Their testing ground for these drones is a portion of Route 33 that spans 35-miles. This is also known as “the Smart Mobility Corridor” which is home to other forms of bleeding edge tech that hopes to one day put an end to traffic jams on the way to work.

The benefits

At the end of the day, drones might not be the way traffic is monitored in the future. It sure sounds like a good idea, but either way, this is one of many tests that hopes to get data to drivers in real time.

Everyone who commutes can benefit from current and accurate traffic data whether it’s warnings about accidents ahead or alternate routes suggested through your GPS all together. There are many ideas surfacing on how to get around traffic, heck, some guy in California is digging tunnels in hopes to put an end to it. I would think that using drones coupled with analytic software doesn’t sound that crazy.

What do you think about drones being used to monitor traffic? Let us know in the comments below.

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Source: Mobility Matters

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