Illinois DOT invests in drones to help with assortment of jobs

Updated Dec 21, 2016

DroneThe Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) paid approximately $9,000 for a pair of new drones that it plans to use for an assortment of jobs, the Illinois News Network reports.

“It could do (tasks) ranging from surveying work, maybe getting into some 3D imaging, to maybe looking at highway work zones,” IDOT spokesman Brian Williamsen told the news agency. “We’ve been using the drones at some of the larger-scale road construction projects that recently wrapped up—one on I-57/I-70 by Effingham and another one on I-155 by Morton.”

Williamsen went on to explain that it takes two people—a pilot and a camera operator—to fly the drones, and that if all goes well, the drones could be a tremendous help with everything from bridge-safety inspections to spotting for emergency responders after a tornado or blizzard.