Micro-unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, have been recognized as an emerging technology offering a plethora of applications touching various aspects of our lives, such as surveillance, agriculture, entertainment, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS). Furthermore, due to their low cost and ability to be fitted with transmitters, cameras, and other on-board sensors, UAVs can be seen as potential flying Internet-of-things (IoT) devices interconnecting with their environment and allowing for more mobile flexibility in the network. This paper overviews the beneficial applications that UAVs can offer to smart cities, and particularly to ITS, while highlighting the main challenges that can be encountered. Afterward, it proposes several potential solutions to organize the operation of UAV swarms, while addressing one of their main issues: their battery-limited capacity. Finally, open research areas that should be undertaken to strengthen the case for UAVs to become part of the smart infrastructure for futuristic cities are discussed.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-01-27
Acknowledgements: This work was supported in part by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST); and in part by the Ministry of Education, Saudi Arabia, and the Deanship of Scientific Research, Najran University, under Grant NU/RC/SERC/11/6.