Drones ‘keeping the nation’s smart motorways moving’

Written by: Simon Pavey, Last updated:14th February 2022

Drones-'keeping the nation's smart motorways moving'

Drones are being used by Highways England engineers to more efficiently monitor the progress of smart motorways upgrades across the country.

Currently in use as part of the multi-million pound upgrade of the M6 between junctions 2 and 4 near Coventry. The drones can relay 3D-quality images of roadworks across a wide area.

Fewer closures and faster journeys

This high-quality imagery can be used by engineers and planners. It will help inform decisions around route closures, and other traffic management measures. This will ensure a minimal impact to motorists, from these essential works.

Highways England smart motorway sponsor Peter Smith commented: “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. This is because we can scan a much larger area in a quicker period of time.”

The footage allows detailed progress reporting on the development of gantries, foundations and other structures. All of which helps to minimise disruption and to keep the upgrade process moving swiftly forward.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “Transport is the lifeblood of the UK economy and keeping traffic flowing is all-important when it comes to the major motorways of the UK. The latest technologies are helping engineers to improve efficiency and that’s great news for everyone.”

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