Nerval's Lobster writes: Ford and Chinese technology company DJI (which manufactures drones that specialize in aerial photography) used the spotlight of this year's CES to announce a developer challenge: figure out how someone can use the dashboard touch-screen to launch (and land) a drone from the back of a pickup. While the challenge is framed as a "search-and-rescue system for the future," drone control from a moving vehicle has a lot more applications than search-and-rescue. In 2014, Renault designed a concept car that came with a small flying drone controllable via tablet or preset GPS waypoints. In theory, this "flying companion," launched from a retractable hatch in the roof, could prove especially useful at scanning the road ahead for possible traffic jams. (Renault hasn't yet announced a production model of the car.) So are drones-from-cars an odd sideshow? Maybe. But if they catch on, imagine the driver-distraction issues from trying to pilot a UAV while you're on the road.
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