This is the Renault KWID, a car that carries a quadcopter drone for terrain reconnoissance tucked inside a little hangar on its rooftop. It may seem like a silly James Bondigh invention, but it actually makes a lot of sense in certain situations.
The three-seat prototype — presented in New Delhi Motor Show, in India — can deploy the smart drone at the touch of a button. Called Flying Companion, it has an onboard GPS and a camera for terrain, traffic, and obstacle reconnoissance. It has two modes: automatic and manual.
In automatic mode the drone follows a path using GPS waypoints, as designated by the driver — like an aeroplane autopilot. The manual mode allows the driver or the co-pilot to control the quadcopter using a built-in tablet panel.
It could be really convenient, especially when going off-road, when you don’t really know what lies ahead of you. On a road or in the city it doesn’t make sense — imagine every car with a companion drone going around (it would be interesting to have public drones along roads and streets, broadcasting images to every car that connects to them, however.)
But for off-road driving this could be really cool and useful. The only problem: While the KWID looks like an all-terrain, full drive car, it is not. But then again, it’s not a real car, so who cares. The concept is cool anyway.