Drones, and more drones

If you saw Maroon 5’s Super Bowl halftime performance, you saw a live drone light show courtesy of 150 Intel drones, which the corporation says set a world record for drones flown indoors. These days, it seems drones are everywhere, performing a wide variety of functions.

Recently the Barrow County Fire Department and the Union City Police Department received Drone Safety Grants from The Auto Club Group, a AAA affiliate; and Georgia TIME (Traffic Incident Management Enhancement), a Georgia Department of Transportation task force. The grants will be used to purchase two drones, valued at about $5,000 each, to help first responders clear traffic incidents and reduce the number of secondary crashes.

In addition, a $1.2 million federal grant has been awarded to a Georgia State University researcher and his collaborators to develop drone use in wildfire management. According to Xiaolin Hu, associate professor of computer science and the grant’s principal researcher, the drones will provide more timely data that allow authorities to help contain wildfires, aid in predicting their spread and give residents in affected areas more time to evacuate.

Photo provided by AAA. From left: Garrett Townsend, The Auto Club Group director of public affairs; Georgia State Patrol Captain Nikki Renfroe; Sergeant Kenneth Mohney, Union City Police Department; and Deputy Chief Dwayne Jamison, Barrow County Fire Department

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