Ford Challenging Developers to Create Drone-to-Vehicle Communications System

Ford is putting a challenge out to developers, looking for someone to design a drone-to-vehicle communications network. 

In partnership with the world’s leading drone maker DJI, Ford is inviting all to take part in the DJI developer challenge, which is searching for the technology to deploy and fly a drone straight from the cab of an F-150. The winner of the contest will receive $100,000.

Ford says that the goal with the contest is to help the United Nations inspect emergency zones that are inaccessible to vehicles. The idea is that first responders will be able to pull up and deploy a drone right from their truck using the touchscreen, to get a better view of the surrounding areas. The drone would also be able to create a map of survivors along with close-up photos of each. Eventually, the drone will be able to return to the truck, even if it has moved.

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“At Ford, we are driving innovation in every part of our business to help make people’s lives better,” said Ken Washington, Ford vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering. “Working with DJI and the United Nations, there is an opportunity to make a big difference with vehicles and drones working together for a common good.”

Though this contest is looking for a specific application of this technology, Ford suggests that it may also be useful in agriculture, forestry, construction, bridge inspection, search and rescue, and other work places in which vehicles are limited by the terrain.

Anyone interested in applying to the challenge can click here.

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