You’ve heard of thinking outside the box. Well, Ford Motor Company is thinking outside the trunk. On October 10, the automaker patented a quadcopter-style drone, meant to take off from a vehicle’s trunk and provide crucial location and security services.
Take a Look: Patent Sketch Shows Design for Ford’s Quadcopter-Style Drone
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The drone, which can also be charged and stored in a vehicle’s trunk, can be programmed via onboard computer to follow a vehicle as it drives, as well as signal the vehicle’s location to emergency services if it gets lost or is in need of assistance.
Meant to be applied to all Ford vehicles, the drone will provide a slew of services. Besides communicating with and sending coordinates to first responders, the drone will also be able to stream footage of car crashes and draw attention to stranded or disabled vehicles via lights and sirens.
While completely pre-programmable and customizable, the drone will likely also be equipped with a manual function. Other potential features include a follow mode, where the drone would record video of the vehicle, and a security mode that would have the drone patrol the vehicle and alert in case of any emergency situations.
“As drone adoption accelerates, we think many of our customers will want to use these devices as part of their lifestyle,” Ford said in a statement following its filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
As drone technology spreads to just about every industry, from agricultural to automotive, it probably won’t be too far-fetched to assume that other car companies will follow Ford’s lead and wade into the drone business.