Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for drone flights over public roadways, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on June 9th, 2021, published on December 15th, 2022, and assigned serial number 0398932.
The Ford Authority Take
In recent months, Ford has filed a host of patents related to drones, including one for a vehicular drone storage compartment system, a collaborative system between an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and an automobile, an unmanned aerial vehicle sanitation system, a jump start system that would use drones, an unmanned aerial vehicle integration system, and a vehicle-mounted aerial drone container. Now, that trend continues with this recent filing for for drone flights over public roadways.
As drone use becomes more and more prevalent – particularly in terms of delivering packages – it’s worth noting that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not permit drone use over public roadways. This is because the devices employ batteries that only enable them to fly for a short period of time, leaving open the possibility that they could run out of power and fall to the ground, potentially striking people or vehicles in the process.
That’s precisely where this patent comes in to play – it presents a way to ensure that drones can safely fly over public roadways and other restricted locations by alerting those nearby to its presence. Additionally, the drone would be able to alter its flight path to avoid a crash as well. This is made possible via a variety of methods – vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cameras, and radio-based signals as well.
With drones seemingly like they’re here to stay, this kind of technology makes a lot of sense, particularly as drone-based delivery services become more prevalent moving forward. As such, there will come a time when one of these devices ultimately needs to pass over a roadway or other sensitive area, which could prompt a change in regulations moving forward.