Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 52-04. Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Departments of Transportation

In the last decade, new technologies have transformed all the stages of the construction industry as more industry stakeholders have begun incorporating new technologies into their daily construction activities. One of the main applications that took over the construction industry is Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). UAS has quickly established itself as one of the main applicable and fastest adopted technologies in the construction industry. Many state departments of transportation (DOTs) have embraced its use in a number of applications, including performing jobsite and work safety inspections, measuring stockpiles, monitoring work progress, providing real-time aerial surveying, providing environmental air and ground sampling, and mapping (3D modeling) of construction that cannot be seen from the ground or are in spaces where humans could be at risk. The objective of this synthesis is to document the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by state DOTs during construction. Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to): current use of UAS by state DOTs; how DOTs procure UAS application services (e.g., DOT staff or outsourcing); and identification of potential obstacles of UAS applications by state DOTs (e.g., legal implications, technical expertise, and training). Information will be collected through literature review, a survey of DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 52-04

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Welch-Ross, Melissa

  • Start Date: 20200922
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01739556
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 52-04
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 18 2020 3:06PM