Renault unveils Kwid concept car that comes with its own drone (w/ video)

Feb 07, 2014 by Bob Yirka report

(Phys.org) —French multinational vehicle maker Renault has unveiled a concept car called the Kwid, which among other things, boasts a camera equipped drone that lives in a hanger on the roof—when needed it could be launched to allow for viewing nearby terrain from an airborne position.

Anyone who has ever driven a car has at one time or another found themselves in a jam without little to no information as to its cause. Many have likely even imagined being able to fly up above the ruckus to see what's going on. With a drone, drivers could do just that. In the Kwid design, the drone works in two modes: automatic or manual. In automatic mode, the drone would launch and fly without assistance to a prescribed GPS point, hover and then return. In manual mode, the driver (or better yet a passenger) could steer the drone using a touchpad on the car's console.

Clearly such a drone could serve many other purposes, such as scouting the neighborhood to find someone waiting, offering directions when GPS or Google just won't do (such as when going off-road), or even as a means of providing a better view of exotic locales. It's not difficult to imagine consumers wanting such an option—what's more difficult to envision is government allowing them to fly in such unrestricted fashion.

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The quadcopter drone has been outfitted to match the trimmings of the Kwid car—both are grey-metallic colored with yellow trimming. Renault unveiled the at the ongoing New Dehli Auto Expo—it's aimed at young people in that country who are looking for an inexpensive yet hip automobile. Its compact "chunky" design is meant to provide a good option for navigating sometimes less than well maintained roadways. The car has front wheel drive and a very tiny—gas sipping—1.2-liter engine, and oddly is made to carry three people up front and two in the back—perhaps a nod to Indian cultural trends among young people.

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As part of the unveiling, Renault reps told those admiring the concept car that it could possibly be made as an all-electric vehicle, as well, though it's not clear yet if the company plans to actually make the car at all, and if so, if it would really ship with a companion .

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User comments : 4

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antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Feb 07, 2014
Anyone who has ever driven a car has at one time or another found themselves in a jam without little to no information as to its cause.

And knowing about the cause would help you to do...what? You're still stuck in traffic. Information is only useful if you can USE it.

I don't know how this got past any project management group. This is a no-starter if ever I saw one.
Jeffhans1
2 / 5 (1) Feb 07, 2014
For years I have thought of having a drone for scouting out parking spaces at shopping centers and sporting events.
Zera
1 / 5 (1) Feb 10, 2014
The spread and control of information is humanities purpose.

If we can create smaller, more largely redundant networks, well more's the better.

So the vehicle is not just tied into the satellite/broadcast tower, but a smaller tightbeam transmission from a platform capable of travelling a few hundred meters in the air? Well I imagine signal reception/range would be clearer from such a vantage. Not to mention as state gps/topographic analysis. Say you've got two tracking cameras and the right algorithms, well range finder, your 4wd maps out the most efficient path and your car auto traverse (one can only imagine this all comes from Military, esp as such a scenario would see it harder to sneak up on a vehicle that maybe had 1 or 2 of these drones circling above).

It's perfect, we're expanding our perception range. Natural predator move, Short (vision/hearing), mid (electronic radar/sonar, has to come to consumer to be economic). and long,(will expand once mid is consumer).
Jimee
not rated yet Feb 12, 2014
It would be great for perps looking for an unprotected child, too! Not too likely to be marketed soon, I hope.

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