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A New Use For Drones: Traffic Scouting 144

Nerval's Lobster writes "Renault's new concept car gives drivers an unusual companion: a small flying drone, controllable via tablet or preset GPS waypoints, which scans the area ahead for obstacles and traffic. The so-called 'flying companion' can exit the vehicle via a retractable hatch in the roof, and buzz around the immediate vicinity shooting video and photos; as this is a concept, actual hardware and software specs aren't available, although Renault's engineers envision something closer to the size of a small bird than some of the larger drones currently available. But how practical is a 'driving drone'? Considering all the accidents caused by people texting or Web-surfing while driving, it seems questionable to introduce a piece of hardware that could prove even more distracting—imagine trying to successfully guide a drone with touch-screen controls while navigating a fast-paced roadway, and you can see why the idea of a "flying companion" would raise the collective blood pressure of traffic-safety officials. Yes, it would be safer for a passenger to handle drone-flying duties while the driver concentrates on the road; but it's also a near-certainty, if such a concept ever went into production, that more than one driver would attempt to multi-task the navigation of two vehicles at once. Do you think this idea is feasible?"
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A New Use For Drones: Traffic Scouting

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