4-3: Corridor-Wide Surveillance Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems


Principal Investigator Benjamín Colucci-Ríos, Ph.D.
Final Report (DOI) Available Soon
TRID Available Soon
Policy Brief Available Soon
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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide a platform that can carry cameras and sensors for collecting real-time traffic information, especially for corridors under congested conditions, when the traditional loop detectors do not work properly and where there is a lack of other means of traffic monitoring. As an alternative, Road Rangers continuously patrol the roadways monitoring for traffic crashes and stranded motorists and then respond to those incidents. Continuously patrolling along the roadways is costly and man-power consuming. In this study, the researchers will explore the possibilities of replacing the patrolling tasks of Road Rangers with UAVs. The challenging research problems include: (1) development of on-line incident detection methodology with video data from multiple flying UAVs; (2) UAV path planning for corridor incident detection; (3) design and conduct experiments aimed at establishing protocols, standards, and guidance for safely using multiple UAVs for monitoring corridor-wide traffic conditions to complement Part 107 of FAA regulations, as amended.

This research will require two phases. The first phase (one year) will focus on design and test of the operations of multiple UAVs for collecting traffic information and development of incident detection methodology. The second phase (one year) will conduct experiments along the I-75 and I-275 freeway corridors in Tampa, Florida, and freeway corridors in the Puerto Rico National Highway System (NHS) to verify the protocols, standards and guidance, as well as the methodologies.