EFFINGHAM, Illinois (KMOX) – Illinois Department of Transportation is showing off its newest toys, and the beautiful video they create. The department’s brand new drones took flight above Effingham, and Morton, Illinois.

The department is exploring how drones might improve mapping or document progress in work zones. The technology eventually could help with 3-D design on projects, geological studies and technical exhibits. The drones could be used to prepare public information about construction projects.

IDOT is also testing live video streaming from the drones, which could one day help travelers select their route. And there are opportunities with other state agencies, such as law enforcement.

“I think the state police is going to be a key one for us,” IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said. “I can see us being able to take pictures in winter snowstorms and stream them so you can look on your computer and say, ‘you know what, maybe I shouldn’t be going on this road today.'”

I-74 at I-155 in Tazewell County near Morton, Illinois:

I-57 and I-70 near Effingham:

(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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