Not content with developing a way to track drones, a patent submitted by Ford reveals they also have plans to put a drone on autonomous cars.
Maybe in a few years you will be driving along quietly in your completely autonomous car, playing with a new app on your smartphone and, suddenly, you will be diverted to the shoulder of the road and stop completely. Your car’s sensors have been damaged and, with the car unable to guide itself, your journey has come to a halt. In today’s cars, you would then take control of the wheel and drive, but in this future autonomous car there is no steering wheel. What do you do? Ford knows: wait for a drone to arrive and couple its sensors to the vehicle to do the driving instead.
Despite the fact that electric vehicles are the great topic of the automotive world today, the truth is that autonomous driving is gaining more and more traction with the passage of time. Although there are those who doubt this model, the reality is that there are already many manufacturers that develop their own systems to allow their cars to drive without human assistance. Tesla plans to flex its muscle in this market soon, with one of its cars crossing the United States from coast to coast thanks to Autopilot 2.0, and many other manufacturers are already testing with these systems.
Ford however has taken the concept of autonomous transport one step further, having just registered a patent to create a system in which a drone acts as a crane. In case of failure of the sensors of your autonomous car, a software platform would allow the car to contact a fleet of drones, sending one to your vehicle’s location, then coupling to it and putting the sensors of this device to work in place of the car’s, then taking it to the nearest repair center.
It sounds a bit far-fetched perhaps, and it’s not the first of Ford’s odd ideas to have surfaced. Last year, We Talk UAV shared ideas put forth by employees of the auto giant Ford. From a ‘Dog Nanny’ that would take your dog for a walk, to a ‘Guide Dog Drone’ to assist vision-impaired people, to an ‘Umbrella Drone’ (OK, they are not the only ones to have come up with this idea) – and even an ‘SOS Drone’ – the mind boggles!