A little help from above! Ford patents a system that sends drones to trigger dead car batteries — and even drones that lift the hood
Next time your car breaks down, just look up at the sky—Ford could launch rescue drones to jumpstart dead batteries for vehicles stranded on the side of the road.
The US automaker posted a patent on Tuesday for a system that uses aerial vehicles with three-prong hands that open the hood to apply jumper cables or direct charging.
The document describes the vehicle, whether it’s a passenger or commercial, detects a low battery and sends a signal to a central computer that dispatches a fleet.
Ford suggests using the vehicle’s GPS location to direct one of the drones to the vehicle, which will take photos of the scene and relay instructions to other devices.
Ford’s system uses aerial vehicles with three-pronged hands that open the hood to connect jumper cables or direct charging
Ford has been pumping out patents for various uses for drones, suggesting it may eventually develop its own propulsion devices, with one in 2018 that will use drones to help steer driverless vehicles.
The latest patent was initially filed in 2017 but has now been published – Ford authority Spotted it for the first time.
The paper notes that this system would be ideal for vehicles that get stuck in remote areas.
The computer will receive a signal from the vehicle that the battery is low, prompting it to send a message to the driver asking if they need help.
If the driver is, the computer taps into the car’s GPS to find its location and sends the drones flying.
Drones are fitted with electrical end transponders that are connected to the battery and lead charge to power up a dead battery.
Ford was granted another patent in February for a system that causes a car to restore itself.
He describes the self-driving car to the showroom or junkyard if the owner doesn’t respond to messages about his delinquent account.
The US automaker will start the process by disabling “convenience features,” turning on in-car sounds, and limiting where the car can drive.
Ford was granted another patent in February for a system that causes a car to restore itself. He describes the self-driving car to the showroom or junkyard if the owner doesn’t respond to messages about his delinquent account
If all else fails, Ford will activate the self-driving feature and the owner will have no choice but to abandon the car.
While patent applications don’t always translate into real-world services, Ford describes the use of a “recovery computer” that can be installed to allow it to control functionality.
Ford will try a non-intrusive method by notifying the owner of their delinquent account by sending a message to the car or smartphone.
If these messages are ignored, Ford will turn up the heat by disabling features like music and air conditioning, hoping the owner will be uncomfortable and push.
The next step is to play annoying sounds, such as ringing or buzzing, inside the car when the driver sits at the wheel, which will play until the car is turned off.
The next step in Ford’s master plan will be to restrict vehicle access to certain days or times.
The patent also indicates that the system could render a car unusable on weekends but would allow a driver to commute to work in an effort not to impede an individual’s ability to make payments.
And the final step is to repossess the car for itself.
If a car is high on mileage, the patent says it will drive itself to the junkyard for recycling.