|Yu Zhang, Ph.D.
|Final Report (DOI)
|View Final Report
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide a platform that can carry cameras and sensors for collecting real-time traffic information, especially for corridors under congested conditions, when the traditional loop detectors do not work properly, and where there is a lack of other means of traffic monitoring. As an alternative, Road Rangers continuously patrol the roadways monitoring for traffic crashes and stranded motorists and then respond to those incidents. Continuously patrolling along the roadways is costly and man-power consuming. In this study, the researchers will explore the possibilities of replacing the patrolling tasks of Road Rangers with UAVs. The challenging research problems include (1) the development of on-line incident detection methodology with video data from multiple flying UAVs; (2) UAV path planning for corridor incident detection; (3) designing and conducting experiments aimed at establishing protocols, standards, and guidance for safely using multiple UAVs for monitoring corridor-wide traffic conditions to complement Part 107 of FAA regulations, as amended.
This research requires three phases. Phase I focused on the design and testing of the operations of multiple UAVs for collecting traffic information and the development of incident detection methodology (see NICR Project 4-3: Corridor-Wide Surveillance Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems). Phase II will involve two separate but related research efforts by the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (Part A), and the University of South Florida (Part B). The University of South Florida research team will conduct experiments along I-75 and I-275 freeway corridors in Tampa, Florida to verify the protocols, standards, and guidance, as well as the methodologies developed in Phase I. In Phase III of this project, the research team will focus on the validation of the algorithms developed in the previous phases and implementation matters of Phase II.