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This is pretty cool. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Monday Ford announced a partnership with drone maker DJI aimed at creating vehicle-to-drone technology for the United Nations.
Aimed specifically at first responders to disaster zones, the technology is designed to allow those first responders to deploy DJI drones and assess the situation without leaving the vehicle.
With a fleet of Ford F150s and drones at its disposal, the first responders would be able to get close to the disaster zone without putting themselves in unnecessary danger.
According to Ford the driver could identify a target area and launch a drone by accessing an app projected through Ford SYNC AppLink. The drone would follow a flight path over the zone, capturing video and creating a map of survivors with associated close-up pictures of each.
“Using the driver’s smartphone, the F-150 would establish a real-time link between the drone, the truck and the cloud, so vehicle data can be shared,” the Ford press release explains. “Data will be relayed to the drone so the driver can continue to a new destination, and the drone will catch up and dock with the truck.”
Ford reckons the technology could have potential applications outside of disaster relief too. It envisions uses in agriculture, forestry, construction, bridge inspection, and any other work environments in which vehicles are space-, height- or terrain-limited.