Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Transport for NSW deploys traffic management drones

More than 70 drones are being deployed to give traffic responders unprecedented visibility from above, supporting the work of the NSW Government’s Transport Management Centre (TMC).  

Transport for NSW says the devices are being deployed around road crashes and peak hour choke points, with the visibility they provide allowing detours to be put in place sooner to ease delays and clear traffic jams.

The drone fleet is also helping to improve real-time information relayed on apps like Live Traffic.

In an Australian-first, Transport for NSW pilots are now able to remotely launch and operate drones mounted to TMC response vehicles.

“Drones are incredibly effective at closing gaps in what we can see across the network. Not every location is suitable for CCTV installation, whereas one drone can be deployed from almost anywhere across the network to survey a wide range of areas,” said Transport for NSW Executive Director Customer Journey Management, Craig Moran.

“As part of the project Transport for NSW has appointed a Chief Pilot to manage the fleet of 70 drones across Transport, set up live streaming capabilities, establish a drone maintenance and innovation hub, and become accredited to remotely fly drones in the field from the Transport Management Centre.

“The drone team carry all maintenance and develop our innovative field operations solutions from the new Leichhardt drone hub.”

Transport uses drones for asset inspections, including bridges and roads, and is investigating how they can be used to assist with other high risk work activities carried out by staff.

Projected cost-saving to the people of NSW is more than $71 million in travel time, $24 million in secondary incidents and $23 million in vehicle operating costs.

“With an eye in the sky, detours can be put in place faster and information provided on apps like Live Traffic. No one wants to be stuck at the back of a queue of traffic and drones will help reduce the severity of traffic jams around road incidents,” said NSW Minister for Roads, John Graham.

“We’ve also utilised this technology during major events, including Sydney World Pride, providing vital information to deploy extra public transport services and monitoring for emergencies.

“There are more than 1700 CCTV cameras across the Greater Sydney Road network, and our drone capabilities supplement these, by providing an extended line of sight in areas not covered by CCTV,” he said.

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