Highways England has started using drones to speed up roadworks; allowing for more accurate planning and reduced disruption to motorists…
Eyes In The Sky
Highways England has begun using drones to monitor the development and progress of road works. So far, they’re being used on the M6 and the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon upgrade. The organisation claims the technology will allow them to reduce lane closures because it allows for the monitoring of larger, 3D areas. The bird’s eye view also allows for significantly more meticulous planning; providing a better idea of what equipment is needed and what closures will be required. The M6 upgrade has been described as ‘gargantuan’. The smart motorway upgrade will have new concrete central reservations, nine emergency refuge areas, signage, noise reduction barriers and monitoring systems. So the drones will no doubt be welcomed by construction and engineering teams.
Peter Smith, a spokesman for Highways England, emphasised the importance of safety. He said, “safety is our top priority and we constantly pioneer ways of using new technology to keep people safe while we do this work. The drone is a fantastic piece of kit that provides us with detailed insight into scheme progress across a large area of the works in a much quicker and efficient way”. He added, “it surveys up to 10km in a single day and then creates an accurate 3D model of the works in just one hour. Ordinarily, inspections by road workers require lane closures for safety reasons and can take up to several days. By using the drone we are able to reduce lane closures because we can scan a much larger area in a quicker period of time”.
An increasing amount of public authorities are starting to invest in, and experiment with, drone technology; including the police force. Relatively affordable, they’re demonstrating significant utility in providing clear and consistent imagery, useful in monitoring a range of situations. These include roadworks, driving offences and security-related purposes. In London, police are already using drones to catch speeding or unsafe drivers; although they insist it’s a preventative measure rather than a means to catch people out. That said, the technology has a dark side as well. There are enormous privacy concerns and have been examples of them being used in prohibited areas. Activists have also attempted to use them in and around airports; deliberately to cause disruption and chaos.
Regardless of the potential abuses of drones, we can all welcome the fact that they can speed up roadworks and reduce congestion!
Police To Begin Using Drones To Monitor Drivers: https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/police-begin-using-drones-monitor-drivers/
UK Drivers At Risk Of Falling Victim To High-Tech French Speed Cameras: https://www.autoservefleet.co.uk/latest-news/uk-drivers-at-risk-of-falling-victim-to-high-tech-french-speed-cameras/