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Pathfinder drone

Pathfinder drone guides fire (and other emergency) vehicles through traffic.
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Fire trucks and other emergency vehicles could move more safely at speed through traffic if the driver could see further ahead.

The idea is to launch a small drone aircraft when the vehicle leaves its depot. The drone would not have to be very complicated, just a biggish model aircraft with down and forward looking camera and a data link to the vehicle.

The drone is controlled by the driver's mate and is flown some few hundred yards or so ahead of the vehicle so that the operator can warn the driver of hazards ahead rather like the way a rally navigator advises the driver.

Avoiding just one crash would easily pay for the drone and all those model aircraft nerds would make willing fire/ambulance service recruits.

Similar black market versions would be available for bank robbers.

All drones would be fitted with ACARS to prevent nasty mid air accidents with other drones being flown by the TV camera trucks.

(I know someone will recommend air to air armaments)

KiwiJohn, Mar 13 2004

Ford truck drone http://insights.dic...comes-for-your-car/
Ford is working on linking drone data to a vehicle. [Voice, Jan 06 2016]

[link]






       I just had this idea... only 8 years behind... I was going to recommend it for new Rolls Royces and other uber-limos to cut down on troublesome traffic jam time. I was also going to recommend weapons for use against other drones that are in the way... inspiring a miniature car-manufacturer arms race...
bs0u0155, Mar 15 2012
  

       Cities with municipal surveillance systems are now experimenting with this idea, using the camera network instead of drones. I'll try to remember where I saw that...   

       See, this is one of my problems: I read so damn much that I can't back up my statements because I've forgotten where the information came from.
Alterother, Mar 15 2012
  

       Alterother, the proper citation in such cases is " I read sumwhurz that..." Kiwi, one of the "driver's mate's" jobs is to be an extra set of eyes at intersections and in traffic generally as well as handle radio communications, mebbee if he's a "mate" it's wireless communications. Asking him/her to pilot a drone and watch a screen is taking those eyes off of closer situations. Perhaps the drone could be piloted and monitored back at the station house or other central location, which is how Alter's read it sumwhurz situation works. (Actually I think he made it up.) In my area the dispatchers have access to traffic cameras and do use them, so he's not all wet. There are cameras on the highways and major arteries at least. More cameras and more widespread use of them seems more feasible. Especially in built up urban areas where radio contact can be sporadic ( can you hear me now? I think I'm in a dead spot) Lose control of the drone, it hits a windshield, causes a traffic jamming accident right in your path, mebbee hits your own windscreen. If it hits your robber's own windshield they mebbee gonna make you wish THEY had refused that offer of a drone you made them.
notmrjohn, May 01 2012
  

       // (Actually I think he made it up.) //   

       When I make stuff up, I either say so or it's blatantly obvious. When I say I've read about something but can't remember where, that is the truth. Get to know me a little better before casting aspersions, please.   

       Just for the record, I spent about ten or fifteen minutes websearching for the article I was recalling, but no dice. It was probably just something I picked up in a waiting room.
Alterother, May 01 2012
  

       [155] Definitely something for the next Bond flick.   

       [notmrjohn] sp. "mebbe" or, if you're a real progressionist, "mebby".   

       "PULL!"
FlyingToaster, May 02 2012
  

       Idea posted in 2004 and the first anno 8 years and two days later in 2012?   

       [notmrjohn], I've a favor to ask. I want to read your annos but it hurts my eyes. Paragraph breaks more often please?
normzone, May 02 2012
  

       and I thought this was going to something that played the Dambuster's march on a bagpipe.
not_morrison_rm, May 03 2012
  
      
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