News Media Plan To Use Drones To Monitor Joburg Traffic

News Media Plan To Use Drones To Monitor Joburg Traffic

Two South African media groups have partnered to see if unmanned drones are a viable way of delivering the news to Johannesburg Web and radio customers, ITNewsAfrica reports.

This follows several successful test flights using a remote-controlled, helicopter-like drone — one of the first uses of UAVs in South Africa’s media industry, according to the report.

South Africa’s Kagiso New Media and Jacaranda FM plan to run a proof-of-concept project that will investigate the viability of using unmanned aerial vehicles to bring real-time news of highway traffic conditions on Johannesburg’s congested N1 highway.

A drone will observe traffic on the N1, providing up-to-the-minute online video feeds during peak hours, the report said. Jacaranda FM’s presenters will use the feed to enrich their on-air traffic reports. Anyone can view the feed live on Jacaranda FM’s website (jacarandafm.com), on PCs, mobile devices, and through live Twitter updates (@jaca_traffic).

The collaboration between Kagiso and Jacaranda “weaves together radio and digital technology in a really exciting way,” said Attila Bernariusz, Kagiso‘s general manager of operations. “Pending the results of this proof of concept, we look forward to operating a fleet of UAVs that will bring our web and radio audience up-to-the-minute news and information.”

Bernariusz said Kagiso is “always looking for innovative ways to bring our audience converged services that add value to their lives.”

Live content delivery provider Antfarm will be responsible for the video streaming bandwidth for the proof of concept, supporting Kagiso with technical skills, stream encoding, hardware and software, and distribution.

The proof-of-concept is expected to last 15 days, with the drone in action weekdays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The project will follow safety guidelines set by the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa, the report said.

Afterwards, Kagiso Media plans to use UAVs more extensively to provide live footage from events and aerial, on-the-scene coverage of major news events as they unfold.