When people think of drones they think of aerial photography, remote sensing, and land surveys. But along with that many countries have incorporated drone surveillance into their defences. The airports and airline companies started drones for Unmanned Traffic Management(UTM) of the newly emerged UAVs and air-taxis quite a while ago. And now its the auto industry.
By 2030, the global car industry will be worth around $9 trillion annually (Source: Statista). It’s no surprise then that the auto industry is at the forefront of adopting new technologies. One of those new technologies is drones. The auto industry has been using it to assist in the efficient running of engineering plants that build the cars. Let us see why not only manufacturing & automobile industries have started using drones but are also being used by insurers and roadside assistance services.
1. Vehicle breakdowns
Forward-thinking roadside assistance companies have begun using drones to find broken down vehicles and help remove them from motorways. There are many safety implications of using drones in this way as it ensures vehicles can be located much more quickly!
2. Transport systems and Inventory
Once the raw materials are inside the factory or warehouses drones can be used for a number of functions. They can be used for transporting lighter elements from one station of one assembly line to another.
They could even help to arrange, manage and keep track of inventory items stored on the tall racks in warehouses by bar-codes or radio frequency identification(RFID– a technology currently used in malls and metro train services).
3. Car accidents
Accenture BeLux has developed SAP technology that will shorten the process around collisions in order to shorten and clear the insurance claims process.
- When there is a vehicle involved in a crash, it will automatically send a signal to a nearby station with a UAV drone.
- The emergency services are alerted to the collision.
- A drone is dispatched to the accident location.
- It scans the crash site for injured people and damage.
- A comprehensive set of photos is taken of the scene and sent to the emergency services and insurance company which can estimate the cost repair.
- Data is available to all parties and emergency services.
- The scans will allow the insurance company to estimate the damage and cost of the repair almost instantly.
4. In-vehicle drones
Who doesn’t want their own drone? The Lexus LF-30 Electric Concept car is a prototype designed by Lexus. It is designed to come with its own in-car drone which can be used by the driver to ensure their safety on the road. If a driver is lost or wants to investigate the road up ahead, they can use their drone to check out the terrain ahead. Lexus also claims that the “Lexus Airporter” would be capable of such tasks as independently transporting baggage from a household doorstep to the vehicle’s luggage area. Isn’t that cool?
Now after knowing this, an idea has struck me. Wouldn’t in-vehicle drones like these would help the police to apprehend fugitives? Imagine someone breaking into your car and running away. Using an in-vehicle drone, cops can keep an eye from the above while the drone tracks its every movement and direction. This way a perimeter could be set up just a few blocks away and bringing them to a standstill.
I don’t know whether is it really being applied somewhere but if not, I wonder whether any such technique could prove helpful. What do you think? Let me know in the comment section 😀
5. Factory Safety & Inspection
It’s already fairly common for large factories to use drones for security surveillance but they are now also being used to perform jobs that are considered too dangerous for humans or time consuming to do.
Because drones are small and easy to maneuver they can even go into all the tricky places where humans can’t. Once in the space, they can start inspecting. For example – any corners of big cylindrical tanks or any kind of leak detection through pipelines, etc.
It’s clear that drone technology is still in its infancy and the potential for their use is largely untapped. Every day, companies are inventing ways to use drones to add a new dimension to their businesses.