Kent County Council’s highways maintenance provider, Amey, is getting phase two of its drone trial technology project underway.
The phase will involve inspecting vegetation and highways assets around the network and identifying potential defects in power and water utilities infrastructure around Kent.
Phase two is part of a wider trailing looking at how effective drone technology can be for capturing wildlife habitats, understanding future repair works with utilities infrastructure, while still using the technology for highway inspections.
The trial represents part of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) SMART Places Live Labs programme.
The ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme is a two-year £22.9m project funded by the Department for Transport and supported by project partners SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, 02, Ringway, and WSP.
Nine local authorities are working on projects to introduce digital innovation across SMART mobility, transport, highways, maintenance, data, energy, and communications.
Live Labs is part of ADEPT’s SMART Places programme, which supports the use of digital technology in place-based services.
Commenting on the trial, Carol Valentine, highways project manager at Kent County Council, said: “We’re excited to be working with this technology to understand the benefits it can bring to improving our services to people in Kent.
“These trials will help us better understand the health and ecosystem of our soft landscape, highways assets and the condition of power and water infrastructure.
“The trial data will be assessed, and we could potentially be using this technology across the county in the future.”
Amey’s programme manager, Ramin Akhyani, said: “This is a great opportunity to investigate the potential of using drones for capturing the condition of highways assets, soft vegetation, and utilities in the area – as well as highlighting the benefits of using drones in the areas of health and safety, cost, data, and proactive asset management.”
Image: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock (not an Amey drone)