Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) based Traffic Monitoring and Management

Download Final Report

CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-NC8

Fiscal Year: 2014/2015

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Peter Jin, Ph.D., Rutgers University, Patrick Szary, Ph.D., CAIT

External Author(s): Dhanesh Motiani, New Jersey Department of Transportation

Sponsor(s): USDOT-FHWA, New Jersey Department of Transportation


The proposed study includes two phases: system development phase and field test phase. One key resource available to the investigation team is the FAA approved UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) test side expected to be operational by the summer of 2014. The test site is planned to be located in the East Jersey area, and currently covers stretches of two freeway systems: the Garden State Parkway and U.S. 9, along the New Jersey shoreline and arterial traffic system near Atlantic City. During the project period, the team is expected to conduct 7-8 field tests including UAV system testing (1 test), Waypoint optimization testing (2 tests), simulated incident site evaluation (1 test), traffic congestion video shooting (1 test), and actual field implementation tests (2-3 tests). With the flexibility and streamlined procedure of flight scheduling at the test site, the proposed research can ensure that the proposed system is calibrated and evaluated in real-world scenarios. The team will purchase and assemble a fitting UAV platform with sufficient payload and flying time capabilities to allow the deployment of video sensors and communication units. This is expected to conclude with 2-3 months of the project. The field evaluation of the Air-TIMS system will be conducted in collaboration with Traffic Incident Response crew at NJDOT responsible for the highways near the test sites so that the system can be tested in real-world conditions.