Car manufacturer Seat is working on a system where drones would detect potential hazards in the road and transmit alerts to drivers. The technology could be used in areas with poor visibility, says the firm.
A video published on the Independent website shows a test in Robledillo de la Jara, a small village in Spain.
A hovering drone, picks up a cyclist via sensors and cameras and then sends a message to the 5G-connected car’s dashboard, which notifies the driver of an obstacle ahead. The process apparently takes just five milliseconds.
César de Marco, Head of 5G connected car at Seat, said: “We’ve seen how the car is able to communicate with its surroundings in the city, and now in rural areas, too.
“In this pilot test we added a drone that sends the information to the cellular network, which sends it to the vehicle, and the driver can see the information displayed on the instrument panel.
“What we aim to do is employ technology for the benefit of road safety. Drones will protect areas where there is poor visibility or that are difficult to access.”
Tests of the 5G connected car have also been conducted in urban environments with infrared cameras, sensors and the like embedded into local infrastructure to communicate with the car.
These included sensors at traffic lights and pedestrians crossings which notified the driver when someone was about to cross the road.
In 2014, we reported on a conceptual design called The Cyclodrone, “a flying beacon that can be configured to fly ahead of and behind a bicycle rider on roads to improve visibility and reduce the chances of being struck by a vehicle.”
Design consultancy Frog, which also brought the world the Sony Walkman, explained: “The drone is paired to the rider’s mobile phone and flies along a predetermined path programmed before the ride.
“Sensors in the drone maintain a safe distance from the rider using a combination of an Infrared sensors and WiFi connection strength.
“The large beacon on top creates a highly visible warning to cars for safer solo outings on narrow one-lane roads and a camera records dynamic video of each ride.”