Amey drone back over Kent skies

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Kent County Council’s highways maintenance provider Amey is embarking on phase two of a drone trial technology project, this time in a bid to inspect vegetation and highways assets around the network and identify any defects in power and water utilities infrastructure around Kent.

The footage captured from the drone will be used to better understand the health and ecosystem of the soft landscape, highways assets as well as the condition of the power and water infrastructure assets in the area. According to Amey, this will enable Kent County Council and utility asset owners to manage their assets better in the future.

Carol Valentine, highways project manager at Kent County Council, said: “These trials will help us better understand the health and ecosystem of our soft landscape, highways assets and the condition of power and water infrastructure. The trial data will be assessed, and we could potentially be using this technology across the county in the future.”

The trial is part of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) Smart Places Live Labs programme, a two-year £22.9m project funded by the UK Department for Transport and supported by project partners SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, 02, Ringway and WSP.

It will look at how effective the technology can be when used for capturing wildlife habitats, understanding future repair works regarding utilities infrastructure whilst still using the technology for highway inspections, potentially further proving the case for it to be used more widely in the future.

Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies subsidiary, and one of the world’s largest suppliers of aerospace and defence products, will work in partnership with AmeyVTOL to help Kent County Council explore the use of remote sensors on aerial platforms to collect data on assets and infrastructure.

“By generating highly detailed measurable digital replicas, a full record of assets and infrastructure can be captured and utilised to provide an analysis of current asset condition and to provide a snapshot in time for future automatic change detection,” said Russell Coleman, head of market and business innovation, Collins Aerospace.

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