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Rijkswaterstaat uses autonomous drones in incidents

Between Tiel and Nijmegen, Rijkswaterstaat and emergency services are testing the drones above the river.

The drones are pre-programmed, allowing them to independently fly to the desired location with a click of the map while avoiding any obstacles along the way. In the event of collisions, drowning persons, fire on board a ship and lost cargoes, they immediately map the situation with images from the air, so that emergency services can act quickly.

Cost savings and better for the environment

According to Rijkswaterstaat, the use of drones leads to less environmental damage, less nuisance from shipping and to cost savings. Ultimately, Rijkswaterstaat wants to deploy the drones in more areas.

Minister sees added value

Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management) is pleased with the innovation. “Drones take our dangerous work off our hands and reach places where people cannot go. They make visible what we cannot see and prove time and again their added value for specific work,” she says.

The police recently announced that they are investing more in the use of drones. Earlier this month, a skipper was caught by a police drone while sailing degassing from his cargo tanks on the Waal.

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