Lessons Learned: Application of Small UAV for Urban Highway Traffic Monitoring


Traffic and emergency monitoring systems are essential constituents of Intelligent
Transportation System (ITS) technologies, but the lack of traffic monitoring has become a
primary weakness in providing prompt emergency services. Demonstrated in numerous
military applications, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have great potentials as a part of
ITS infrastructure for providing quick and real-time aerial video images of large surface
area to the ground. Despite of obvious advantages of UAVs for traffic monitoring and many
other civil applications, it is rare to encounter success stories of UAVs in civil application
including transportation. The objective of this paper is to report the outcomes of research
supported by the state agency to investigate the feasibility of integrating UAVs into urban
highway traffic monitoring as a part of ITS infrastructure. These include current technical
and regulatory issues, and possible suggestions for a future UAV system in civil applications.

urban traffic monitoring


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