Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a moonroof docking system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on October 28th, 2019, published on January 10th, 2023, and assigned serial number 11548658.
The Ford Authority Take
Ford has filed quite a few UAV-related patents over the past couple of years, a list that includes one for a collaborative system between an unmanned aerial vehicle and an automobile, an unmanned aerial vehicle integration system, one that would enable drone flights over public roadways, and another for a vehicle-mounted aerial drone container. Now, this new Ford patent keeps that trend going by introducing an idea for a moonroof docking system for unmanned UAVs.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Ford patent filing that explores places where owners may store something like a drone, but it is unique in where it proposes we do so – right in the moonroof of a vehicle. The idea here is that the UAV could remain stored away, hidden from view, until it’s needed, at which point it could be deployed from a convenient location – in this case, a pod assembly that’s located in the moonroof.
When deployed, the UAV could emerge from a recessed compartment that’s hidden somewhat inside the moonroof assembly, which would also include a charging and cooling system to keep the device charged up and ready to go. The system would be able to detect if the device is too hot, at which point it could engage the cooling system based on predetermined thresholds.
This Ford patent certain seems viable, and is yet another idea for how we might store UAVs in the future, which Ford and other entities see as something that will only become more prevalent moving forward. Whether they’re used for searching for people or vehicles, or simply to film our off-road adventures, things like drones could one day serve as a normal, common automotive accessory – in which case Ford wants to be ready to capture a slice of that particular market.