In early 2017, as part of the Smart Motorways Project, Coastway Surveys was commissioned by Highways England (HE) to carry out a pilot project on a live motorway to determine if UAV’s could be used to acquire topographical survey data for use at the preliminary design stage.
HE selected a 14km section of the A1(M) for the pilot project and the survey team performed 19 separate flights over the 14km section. The use of UAV’s to carry out the survey negated any requirement for traffic management and greatly reduced the health & safety concerns that are normally associated with on the ground surveying on busy motorways. The take-off and landing sites were situated outside of the motorway boundary.
HE required orthorectified imagery, as-built drawings and cross-sections. The point cloud data were further processed by Coastway to produce a 3D model of the motorway which will be used by HE in the future for visualisation purposes.