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Are Drones Being Equipped In Cars?

Are Drones Being Equipped In Cars? Yes, the Ford Motor Company has a patent that merge a line of their vehicles with drone technology. Land Rovers Rescue drones, Mercedes Benz partnership with Matternet, Project Hero, and the Advanced Patrol Platform, a drone-equipped police car capable of remotely dispatching drones.

Written by: AJ Keil

As the world we live in becomes increasingly automated, humanity has come to rely on its technological advancements more than ever before. Always looking for alternatives on making our lives easier and more convenient.

The Ford Motor Company Drone Patent

The motor world in particular, ever intent on building safer and more versatile vehicles, hit an important milestone on October 10th 2019 when the Ford Motor Company unveiled a new that promises to merge a future line of their renowned vehicles with drone technology in an effort to provide the user with a multi-functional tool that also serves as a contingency plan in case of an emergency.

The ( is naturally equipped with lights in case of poor visibility but most importantly both a GPS and a siren in order to facilitate the spotting of the vehicle by emergency first responders. There are even plans for the drone to be capable of launching itself from the trunk and streaming the crash site to a proper team all by itself should the driver be impaired or passed out.

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Ford Drone In Your Trunk – Autonomous Auto Launching Drone – Today we discuss Ford’s drone in your trunk concept and whether this could see the major automaker stepping up as a drone producer.

How reliable is this car drone?

A first close look at the document lists all of the design choices listed above as part of a panic mode programmed into the quadcopter currently taking part in functionality tests under different areas and circumstances. All with the intention of ascertaining the prototype’s level of reliability as talks about its widespread implementation move on.


[h4]Modes that are encoded in car drone

It is now worth taking a closer look at all the modes coded into this car-dependent drone because although the most fatalist out of all of them is arguably the most important, it isn’t the only one by a long shot.

The main focus of all these differing modes had however remained to ensure the safety of the passengers as Ford has given intense attention to this particular use and expressed its desire to collaborate with other interested parties.

Are Drones Being Equipped In Cars?

Everything starts when the drone is deployed from the vehicle’s trunk by either the user’s command, or a remote cue from an emergency service provider. There are even several ways for the user to issue a command. It can be done from a phone, computer, e-mail and obviously the inside of the vehicle as well.

There’s also ways for the user to limit which deployment sources can trigger what modes, if not all of them.

These modes are:

1- Panic mode: The already mentioned and most important one would have the drone hover right over the vehicle as it illuminates the user and the surrounding area while also emitting a powerful and far reaching audible alert.

2- Security mode: This mode would have the drone hover over the host vehicle while providing ample illumination to it and the nearby area.

3- Static view mode: This mode would have the drone hover over the host vehicle whilst taking pictures of it and its vicinity, in the lookout for any disturbances.

4- Monitoring mode: This mode would have the drone hover around the host vehicle while video streaming everything it sees to specific nearby devices, very much like a remote camera feed.

5- Fly mode: This mode would simply have the drone follow the moving vehicle or fly to a specific location.

The capabilities are even greater!

The drone will also be capable of certain operations independent from these predesigned modes as well as giving the user the choice of linking certain operations and modes together. These actions include transmitting GPS signals, live video streaming, shining a light and emitting a siren.

There are plans to power not only Ford vehicles but all sorts of aircraft, marine crafts and eventually self-driving cars with this technology as well. The patent also mentioned the compatibility of the drone’s software with any and all operating systems in an effort to further expand the reach of this technological revolution.

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Are Drones Being Equipped In Cars? Yes – Drone News – Ford Drone Patent

The project might still be in its early stages but its scope is ambitious and just keeps on expanding, the newest development being a remote ID tracking system which would constitute an invaluable resource for both the company and any of its users.

Ford has been quoted as saying they definitely plan on funding this research further in an attempt to not only ensure the safety of drivers but also lay down the groundwork for their vehicles to deliver the right experiences as we gradually move on to a smaller world.

The emphasis put on the importance of engaging in talks at the federal level has also been substantial, so the government will undoubtedly need to step in before passing by this new vehicles on the street becomes a reality.

This Drone Technology has been around since 2017

All this might sound futuristic but actually came off as hardly a surprise to a big number of people given several multinationals have been taking part in important collaborations with this technology for years now, some as early as 2017.

Among them Mercedes Benz partnership with Matternet which resulted in the deployment of over a hundred drones delivering packages from Swiss online retailer “Siroop” as well as Land Rover’s rescue drones; which under the label of Project Hero introduced a drone equipped SUV intended for use by rescue agencies in order to save lives more effectively.

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Are Drones Being Equipped In Cars? Land Rover unveils drone-equipped Discovery for search and rescue operations with a drone that remotely scans the landscape after earthquakes or avalanches with Project Hero. – AllDroneSchool

The Ford Motor Company themselves have also been using drones to safely inspect pipework, gantries and roof areas at the company’s plants since 2018.

Mercedes Benz-Matternet – Project Hero

The Mercedes Benz-Matternet association which took place in between the months of September and October of 2017 was made possible thanks to a system involving two drones and two Mercedes-Benz Vito vans with landing platforms, both being coordinated from logistics hubs measuring as little as two square meters.

These were named Matternet Stations and represent a fundamental piece of this new system. Controlling everything from deliveries, the vans positions, to leading depleted drones down to charging stations where these are locked away and refitted with a new set of batteries.

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The Matternet Station – Easy-to-use interface for sending and receiving packages 24/7/365. Integrated with the Matternet Cloud and the M2 Drone for payload and battery exchange, autonomous take-off and landing. – AllDroneSchool

The drones utilized for this project were the company’s second generation of drones, the Matternet M2, capable of carrying packages weighing up to 4.4 pounds across a distance of 12 miles under real life conditions and during a single charge.

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Swiss Post’s Matternet drone delivers lab samples between hospitals saving time over road transport. The trials involved more than 70 flights and more are planned.


As for the vans themselves, these had been equipped with the on-board infrastructure necessary to load a specific package onto the hard-shelled drone and in-cloud software support to provide the necessary information for it to reach its destination without further assistance; often in both rural and urban areas with a severe lack of proper roads.

It is also worth mentioning that while the total investment from Mercedes-Benz remains undisclosed, it was a significant amount. Their partner Matternet, claiming to have risen $9.5 million dollars of their targeted total of $11.5 million.

At the time, these machines represented a moderately risky multi-million dollar investment for both parties, but also promptly aimed at four key objectives with market changing potential in return; goals that upon completion brought further insight as to the possible difficulties concerning a grand-scale deployment of the system.

These numbered objectives were:

1- Reducing both the cost and time expenses of the delivery cycle from the current system by avoiding all sorts of traffic during each drone’s route to its destination.

2- Seamless implementation of the drones into the logistics chain with no apparent change on the customer’s experience.

3- Grant retailers and logistics companies the capability to lessen the burden put on their van operators by supplying them with a true on-demand delivery alternative.

4- Support for smooth drone landing, resupplying and launching directly on and from the vans.

Completely automated and independent from humans

The project was ultimately a success after meeting corporate expectations regarding the initial goals by both shortening delivery times and opening the door to much closer follow ups from customers during their orders via directly tracking the in real time position of their designated drones.

All while remaining completely automated and independent from any sort of human intervention apart from the vans. This fruitful partnership set up a precedent for what was to come in the following years and will surely follow as the implementation of drones in everyday life keeps on growing, from our delivery services to cars.

Drone delivery service from Matternet

Today, Matternet offers delivery services to retailers with drones backed by their very own network, which keeps tabs on everything from delivery progress to route generation.

Drones, Project Hero and the Red Cross

Another instance on which the relationship between drones and vehicles caused a stir was the reveal of Project Hero, which directly ties to the most recent Ford drone patent just because of its intended purpose.

The Jaguar owned-company called it an advanced communication vehicle specialized in search and rescue, and managed to secure a partnership with the Austrian Red Cross during its development in order to test the vehicle during a trial period in late 2017 immediately afterwards.

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A truly unique rescue vehicle

Its training facility was based in Erzberg, where the natural landscape offered the perfect opportunity for testing against natural occurrences like blizzards, avalanches and other related disasters.

Advertised as a truly unique rescue vehicle capable of making the difference between life and death in even the most hazardous of situations, the Discovery van is equipped with the rather exclusive Taiwanese Align M480L quadcopter drone. This drone is capable of a 20 minute flight window.


The Battery can recharge the drone

It reaches speeds up to 34 mph and is capable of landing over the vehicle, even when this is in constant movement. It is comfortably controlled from a tablet within the vehicle and it can take live footage as it ventures into commonly inaccessible places and is also capable of broadcasting in real time. This proves to be specially useful in rural areas or the wilderness, where maps often become either redundant or plain useless.

The van is also equipped with a battery capable of recharging the drone as well many other necessities on board and a powerful LED which can be deployed from the rear end in case of poor visibility, it truly represents a step towards next generation emergency operatives.

MAPP -Microsoft Advanced Patrol Platform

In short, Project Hero constitutes the latest incarnation of a technology which because of its cooperation with law enforcement has cemented itself as absolutely essential for the now flourishing drone public-safety sector.

While all these are recent developments, the drone industry as a whole has seen a tremendous boom since 2018 and is expected to continue for quite some time. Some of the earliest accounts seen as far back as 2015 when Microsoft unveiled its Advanced Patrol Platform, (MAPP -Microsoft Advanced Patrol Platform) a drone-equipped police car capable of remotely dispatching drones and revising suspect histories.

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IoT on the Streets: Microsoft Patrol Car – Check out Microsoft reference architecture patrol car equipped with a drone, with Nathan Bekham and Yaroslav Pentsarskyy

These Drones Are An Incredible Versatile Tool

It came alongside the release of a new software package that now offers secure cloud storage for government agencies, making clear to the bureaucrats just some of the benefits to be seen from further funding this technologies.

Drones have superior maneuverability, can scan large areas in a matter of minutes, identify targets from afar and even ascertain their status from a distance by making use of their thermal signatures. It is clear that while they could never replace response operatives, these certainly do pose an incredible power and versatile tool.

All the more puzzling is the fact drones have already been heavily implemented in other fields such as aviation, deep sea exploration and are even in some places but are still just nigh of moving onto the mainstream scene.

Are Drones Being Equipped In Cars? Conclusion:

The way of progress has always been intertwined with the one of change as we adapt to our environment and develop tools to aid us in the areas where we find ourselves limited.

Drones are already deeply ingrained in some select industries and just keep on gaining traction as companies and customers move forwards, it won’t be long now before all cars are equipped with these machines and probably just a bit longer prior to self-driving cars making their debut.

Drone industry TRIPLED last year!

You can find all around the net information regarding this next big shift as our tools are slowly but surely taking over lives and actions, promising to keep us safe and content as the industry just tripled in size to $14.3 billion last year. One can’t fight change so what remains is for us to steer into it and keep ourselves well informed.

In short, drones are indeed being put into cars but that’s just the beginning.