Amey, as Kent County Council’s highways maintenance provider, has started the second phase of a drone trial that will inspect soft landscapes and highways assets around the network and identify any defects in power and water utilities infrastructure in the county.
The trial is part of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport Smart Places Live Labs programme, a two-year £22.9m project funded by the Department for Transport and supported by project partners Atkins, EY, Kier, 02, Ringway and WSP. The first phase of the trial focused on identifying road defects.
The drone technology is supplied by Collins Aerospace; its head of market and business innovation, Russell Coleman, said: “By generating highly detailed measureable digital replicas, a full record of assets and infrastructure can be captured and utilised to provide an analysis of current asset condition and to provide a snapshot in time for future automatic change detection.”
Giles Perkins, programme director for Live Labs, said: “The widescale use of drone technologies could provide significant benefits. This application in Kent will help illustrate new and innovative ways of collecting data that is quicker than traditional methods but also helps keep those who work on our highways out of harm’s way.”
Carol Valentine, highways project manager at Kent County Council, added: “The trial data will be assessed, and we could be using this technology across the county in the future.”