Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for an unmanned aerial vehicle sanitation system, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on February 10th, 2021, published on August 11th, 2022, and assigned serial number 0249722.
The Ford Authority Take
Aside from using drones to monitor stock levels at the Valencia Engine plant in Spain, Ford has filed a number of drone-related patents in recent years, including one for a vehicle-based unit that can help locate that same vehicle, a jump start system that would use drones, and an air to ground last-mile delivery system. Now, this new Ford patent aims to use an unmanned aerial vehicle like a drone to sanitize a vehicle, too.
The patent notes that a vehicle would be able to send a wireless signal to this aerial machine indicating that it needs to be sanitized, at which point the unmanned device could land on that vehicle’s roof, open a window, and insert an articulated “arm” into the vehicle. The arm could be configured to hold a number of different things, including subbing pads or containers that dispense sanitizer or cleaner, at which point it could ensure that there are no viruses or bacteria present in the vehicle.
In terms of how this patent might be used, the Ford patent specifically mentions ride-share vehicles, which makes perfect sense given the fact that those transport many people on a daily basis, which can lead to the spread of viruses and bacteria. The patent also notes that it can be difficult and time consuming for ride share drivers to sanitize vehicles in between each rider, though such a service could also be used with autonomous commercial vehicles, too.