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Ford “is patenting drone docking on cars”

TopGear, BBC’s motoring programme makers, report that Ford is looking at the myriad ways drones could be part of a vehicle. Researchers from the car maker’s Global Technologies subsidiary it says had a bunch of drone-related patents recently accepted.

According the TopGear website: “The images depict various concepts providing added safety, comfort and convenience to vehicle occupants. One includes an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – to give the drone its official title – being deployed from the back of a Ford F-150 as a safety measure. The drone, stored in the ‘vehicular drone storage compartment’, would activate in a crash, sound an alarm and shine a light to alert emergency responders.

“Another sees a drone docking station being put onto the car so in the event of a traffic jam, the drone could, for example, make a food delivery. Another sees the drone checking the road conditions further up the route and passing that information back to the car’s computer, or to the road infrastructure, e.g. traffic lights.

“Patenting solutions around the use of drones in public spaces means Ford’s researchers are considering how to use drones effectively without creating further safety issues. Such detail includes equipping the drone with the ability to identify an ‘emergency condition’ i.e. a crash risk and transmitting a warning message to the car and/or the owner. They also consider how the UAV would land on the back of a moving vehicle.

“Ford has been showing an interest in the symbiosis of vehicles and drones for a while, including patenting a drone that has a sanitisation arm and could be targeted at ride-share operators. The car brand doesn’t expect these potential solutions to stay land-based either, citing in one patent integration with water vehicles.”

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(Image: Ford)

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