Research Reports

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



UAV, unmanned aircraft system, drones, traffic, transportation, incident management, UAS applications, object detection algorithm, experimental design

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


The motivation for this research was the lack of a protocol to apply an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform for traffic data collection and effectively analyze and evaluate incidents in high-speed multi-lane and freeway corridors. The ultimate purpose of this research study was to integrate the use of drones into real-time incident detection to assist in reducing congestion and delay, improve traffic operations, and enhance overall safety in the corridor and contiguous surface transportation networks. Phase I of the research project consisted of a comprehensive literature review, selection and acquisition of drones and drone training to develop the protocol, data collection using the drone platform and dual sensing technologies, and evaluation of vehicle detection algorithms.

Policy Brief.pdf (370 kB)
Policy Brief