Thursday, November 30, 2023

Honda working on electric bike-mounted drone technology. What’s the purpose?


The Honda electric bike-mounted drone technology can become a very useful tool for civilian riders and armed forces as well.

Honda, the Japanese automobile giant working in various segments of the mobility sector has filed for a unique patent – electric bike-mounted drone technology. As the patent images have been leaked, the bike will be able to release the drone on command.

The patent images show that there is a box at the back of the bike mounted just behind the pillion that would work as the launch and landing pad for the drone. When the drone is not in use, the tail box would accommodate a rack for strapping on the luggage or otherwise it would be closed.

As the patent image details reveal, the tail box will open and allow the autonomous drone to fly out in the open. The drone would be able to navigate and return to the motorcycle without any external help as well.

When in use, the top box will open and allow the autonomous drone to fly out. The flying device would be able to navigate and return to the motorcycle without external help. However, there is a question that pops up while checking the design. How and will the drone be able to launch from a moving bike? Also, how will it reattach itself with the landing pad while the bike is on move?

drone technology

While the patent filing certainly shows a very interesting idea of launching and landing drones from a moving bike, it fails to explain the purpose of a bike-mounted drone. Using a bike for launching or operating a drone would increase the maneuverability of the drone and for the operator. Apart from civilians, this technology can help the armed forces as well to work in several areas without being detected.

Drone technology

One of the potential uses of this bike-mounted drone technology is that such drones could be utilised to fly ahead and keep an eye on the road conditions, keeping the rider updated about the oncoming obstacles, scout for traffic, or any other critical update. Apart from that, the drone can be used to deliver a fully charged battery pack to the electric motorcycle in case the rider requires more range on the go. Overall, there could be several possibilities related to using bike-mounted drone technology.

Interestingly, this is not the first time an automaker tried to explore drone technology using a vehicle as to the launch and landing pad for an unmanned aerial vehicle. Previously, British luxury SUV manufacturer Land Rover too tried its hand in drone technology.

Back in 2018, Land Rover developed a drone-equipped Discovery for the Red Cross emergency fleet. Developed from the original Project Hero concept car, the Land Rover Discovery equipped with an advanced eight-rotor drone comes with a state-of-the-art communications system onboard. The vehicle has already entered active service in the Red Cross emergency fleet.

The specially designed and engineered Land Rover Discovery was the result of an 18-month collaboration between the Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations and the Austrian Red Cross.

The drone onboard the SUV is equipped with a long-range thermal imaging camera that is capable of spotting a human from a 440-metre distance and can identify a vehicle at almost 1,000 metres. It relays a video feed to the touchscreen monitors onboard the SUV.

The SUV also gets bespoke features such as four radio antennae, 360-degree lighting, and an integrated carbon fiber load space command center.

Apart from that, some of the other global automakers use drone technology for different purposes, but without integrating the drone into the vehicles. For example, German luxury car manufacturer Audi has inducted a specially developed drone technology at its Neckarsulm factory in Germany. The drone developed by the carmaker is used to save time and make the dispatch process efficient and easier, as claimed by Audi.

Also Read: Top upcoming premium bikes in India in 2021


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