While regulators are still trying to restrict and limit drone usage in the United States, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment effectively used three drones this month to direct traffic. The drone used for the job was the Altura Zenith ATX 8 and the event it was used at was the Concert at Sea Festival in Zeeland. This event is known to draw large crowds, which is why the department thought of using drones to help direct traffic. The drones were effectively able to monitor an area of 30 kilometers and used a T-Mobile connection for sending and receiving data.
The brains behind the operation was OmniworkX, a Dutch company that specializes in drone technology. It deployed the drones to better analyze traffic during the jam-packed festival, which had more than 80,000 attendees. The UAS provided great feedback on highways, which suffered the most due to the influx of people attending the concert. Traffic coordinators were able to use a camera streaming live video to redirect traffic to prevent further jams and ease congestion.
According to Gretske de Bruijn, an employee at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the value provided by the drones was immense. Through the use of live drone video, authorities were able to prevent traffic jams and solved incidents quickly thanks to real-time traffic updates. Since many of the roads leading to the concert venue were not equipped with cameras, the drones played a major role in monitoring and solving traffic problems.
Beyond this event, even Belgian Police used the same drone model to monitor traffic, search for missing people, and control large crowds. According to Frank Mulleners, a police chief, the drones are serving to be highly helpful for detective work, taking aerial pictures, maintaining public order and searching for missing people.
With this positive use of drones, it is hoped that other governments across the world will start using UAVs for positive and important purposes.