Future Car Accessory: A Drone?

Renault's concept car Kwid envisions 'flying companion'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 9, 2014 6:02 AM CST | Updated Feb 9, 2014 6:34 AM CST

(Newser) – A new Renault concept SUV comes with a buddy: a drone that soars out of a roof hatch to investigate traffic conditions or maybe off-roading hazards. Were the "flying companion," as the company calls it, to be produced, it would be about the size of a small bird, Slashdot reports. At this point, the drone "is more of a gimmick than a production reality, but it still makes a sick bit of sense," writes Damon Lavrinc at Wired. Controlled by a dashboard tablet or GPS system, the drone would send images or video back to the car. (Think of it as a "car selfie," notes Time.)

Of course, all that gadgetry has Slashdot's Nick Kolakowski worried about yet another potential distraction for the modern driver, even if it's designed more for passengers to use. The drone may seem a little far-fetched, but "how long until a Ford or Tesla starts playing with the idea of a drone companion to their latest vehicles?" All the more reason for the FAA to get rules in place for domestic drones of all kinds, he writes. (Including any that might be delivering your Amazon products.)

Renault concept SUV KWID (sans drone) is displayed at the 12th Indian auto Expo in Noida, India, on Feb. 5.   (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
A frame grab from Renault's video about the concept car and drone.   (Renault)
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A Renault video about the concept car and drone.   (YouTube)

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