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States Turn to Drones to Predict Avalanches, Spot Wildlife


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A New York State Fire Agency drone used to help track a cruise ship that broke from its moorings and became lodged against a bridge in Albany, NY, early this year.

Public transportation agencies in nearly every state are using drones.

Credit: Hans Pennink/AP

Public transportation agencies in nearly every state are using drones, according to a recent American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials report.

The small unmanned aircraft are often used to inspect bridges and roads because they can use their sophisticated cameras and thermal technology to detect tiny cracks and identify potential potholes before they are visible to the human eye.

In North Carolina, drones are used to search for nests of endangered species.

Kansas state employees are using drones to create sophisticated farming programs.

Said Utah’s Jared Esselman, “We can predict not only snow slides, but mudslides and water runoff as the snow melts. Drones are a perfect tool for any job that is dangerous or dirty.”

From Associated Press
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