Ford Motor Company today announced a $100,000 prize for software developers, to be awarded to whomever builds the best software which allows the Ford F-150 light duty pickup to interface with a flying quadricopter “drone” from Chinese manufacturer DJI.
The announcement came during the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, currently in-progress in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Automotive News, the automaker would like to see the Ford F-150 and civilian drones work in harmony to survey affected areas in the event of a natural disaster. First responders with the United Nations would, in theory, use the Ford F-150 truck to get as close as possible to the disaster zone, and then control a DJI-built drone from the truck to reach otherwise inaccessible areas to survey the damage.
The Ford F-150 full-size pickup would communicate wirelessly with the surveillance drone using the automaker’s AppLink and OpenXC interfaces. “There is an opportunity to make a big difference with vehicles and drones working together for a common good,” said Ford Director of R&D Ken Washington.