Drones are set to monitor traffic patterns and communicate with ground vehicle infrastructure in Ohio, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Journal reports.
The drones will be relaying information on what’s going on along Ohio’s Smart Mobility Corridor, a 35-mile public testing ground on U.S. Route 33 for new transportation technologies.
As part of the project, Ohio is upgrading the Route 33 testing corridor with road sensors and putting devices on more than 1,000 vehicles.
The drones will interact with the senors and fixed-location traffic cameras, sending information to the existing ground traffic management system.
Scheduled to begin July 1, the project will help “explore the intersection between autonomous and connected vehicles on land and in the air,” said DriveOhio Executive Jim Barna.
Pilots will operate the aircraft beyond their visual lines-of-sight as part of a national drone system project.
The AASHTO Journal reported a StateScoop story on the project, which has been under way in Ohio since 2016.
The drone project is a partnership between the DriveOhio UAS Center in Springfield and the Ohio State University College of Engineering.
Fred Judson, director of the DriveOhio center, said the research project will pave the way for a safety system allowing the eventual development of package delivery and air taxi services in the future.