The Future of Traffic Monitoring –A New Perspective Using Drones

Author(s): Caitlin Sowers, Eric Hildebrand
Student Paper Competition: 2nd Place

Slidedeck Presentation:



Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been successfully used as an alternative to traditional
traffic monitoring practice given their low cost and improved mobility. A UAV was used to
investigate how quickly drivers adapted to the introduction of the first two-lane roundabout in
New Brunswick. The footage provided by the UAV was manually analyzed to interpret changes
in driving errors as they became more familiar with the new facility. The video also allowed for
real-world estimates of driver gap acceptance for use in capacity analyses. The captured data
has led to recommended design changes that should lead to a safer facility going forward.
Transport Canada is the governing body for UAV regulation in Canada and the application
process undertaken for the research done at the roundabout is discussed. Operational practices
for the best use of UAVs for traffic monitoring are also recommended, which include surveys that
traditionally require significant person-power.