The N.C. Department of Transportation just conducted a bridge inspection using a drone for the first time.
According to the NCDOT, the Marc Basnight Bridge over Oregon Inlet was inspected for potential defects earlier this week. The drone provided high-definition video feeds as it was flown around the bridge’s 10 largest columns.
Officials said the use of drones for safety inspections saves money and reduces the need for road closures. According to the NCDOT, drones will not replace human inspection altogether but will be used to supplement it.
The drone will be particularly useful in hard-to-reach areas.
According to the NCDOT, crews used a Skydio 2 drone equipped with detect-and-avoid technology that allows the drone to get within 12 inches of the bridge without crashing into it.