This technology could allow first responders to disasters such as earthquakes, tornado's and hurricanes to quickly deploy drones able to survey and map hardest-hit areas – all from a single vehicle. A drone system that could survey an area recently hit by a wild fire, without putting anyone else in danger and speeding up emergency response can save lives, The challenge would be to build a surveying system to inspect emergency zones inaccessible to even the most versatile vehicles.
The software mobility challenge is part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. A vehicle serves as drone base station and the drone would communicate in real time. The rapidly deploy-able surveying system ideally would work like this: In a disaster, a response team would drive a vehicle as far as possible into an emergency zone.
Using the system the driver could identify a target area and launch a drone by accessing an app projected through it. The drone follows a flight path over the zone, capturing video and creating a map of survivors with associated close-up pictures. Using the driver’s smartphone, the vehicle would establish a real-time link between the drone and vehicle can share data.