Ford announces car-to-drone comms

Ford announces car-to-drone comms

Jan 19, 2016

Ford announces car-to-drone comms

The idea behind this little jape is a noble one, in some respects, but let’s face it – car-to-drone communications are still a silly idea.

Ford’s the company responsible this time around, as it teamed up with drone manufacturer DJI at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to announce a challenge for software developers: create drone-to-vehicle communications using Ford Sync AppLink or OpenXC.

Ford says the goal of the DJI Developer Challenge is to create a ‘surveying system for the United Nations Development Program to inspect emergency zones inaccessible to even the most versatile vehicles’. Apparently, such a system would allow first responders to national disasters to map badly hit areas… all from the cab of a Ford F-150. Of course that’s what it’s for – and in no way is this system going to be abused by people, say, filming their favourite back-road drives from a bird’s-eye view instead. Ahem.

There’s a $100,000 (about €92,000) prize and anyone interested can visit http://developer.dji.com/challenge2016. “At Ford, we are driving innovation in every part of our business to help make people’s lives better,” said Ken Washington, Ford’s vice president for 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.”

Or, at least, vehicles and drones working together to put some really awesome motoring videos onto YouTube…