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ODOT to study drones as a traffic monitor

ODOT will study the use of drones as a way to oversee traffic patterns and emergency road situations.

Ohio transportation officials are now studying drones as a way to monitor traffic.

DriveOhio has partnered with the Ohio State University's College of Engineering to study unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also called drones, as a way to monitor traffic and respond to emergency situations.

"They gather data... video type of information," said David Gallagher, chief of staff for the Ohio UAS Center. "ODOT's traffic management center can see video real time to see the severity of an accident, [and] see if there is any casualties."

The study will cost $5.9 million over three years to complete. The research will occur along US 33, which is known as the Smart Mobility Corridor.

"This is just to kinda assess the technology, see how it works over roads and bridges, see how it communicates with our existing transportation and infrastructure," said Gallagher.

The mini aircraft will show real-time road conditions, show traffic patterns and oversee bridges.

The study will begin on July 1.