Last week, Intel announced two separate collaborations with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to improve bridge inspections using drones. Intel and the KYTC have actually used its drones technology to help inspect and analyze the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge, which is an 8-lane interstate that crosses the Ohio River with over 100,000 vehicles crossing the bridge daily. With that much traffic, even a lane closure can result in costly delays. Intel’s Falcon 8+ drone technology allows the bridge to remain open while it captures about 2,500 high-resolution aerial images, or about 22 GB of data that was uploaded to the Intel Insight Platform. The data was used to create 3-D models and applied to monitoring the paint deterioration and cable stability of the bridge over time.

Separately, Intel worked with MnDOT and Collins Engineers to expedite an inspection of the Stone Arch Bridge, which is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge. Due to the complex nature of the aging bridge, it requires inspection annually as opposed to bi-annually. By using drones, they have been able to reduce work hours by about 28% as well as 40% savings in inspection costs. This collaboration is yet another example of how drones are cutting costs and increasing efficiency.