The Minnesota Department of Transportation has just completed an 18-month study of both the benefits and concerns of using drones to inspect road conditions. Drones could be a safer option keeping workers out of the path of vehicles. Drones could also collect data much faster than people can. Plus, traffic lanes would not have to be shut down while drones gather the data.
However, MDOT would have to overcome public perception of drones if this were to be a viable option.