Renault Designs Drone-Equipped Car

Renault on Feb. 7 announced it has introduced Kwid, a concept car, at the New Delhi Auto Expo. While this was the first time the automaker had revealed a new concept outside Europe and the Geneva, Paris, and Frankfurt auto shows, Kwid's most remarkable feature is what Renault calls its "flying companion" – a small drone that takes off from the car's roof to take pictures of traffic and other obstacles ahead. The dashboard is an integrated tablet for controlling the drone.

Renault's online fact sheet about the Kwid shows it has a front bench seat, protective guards, chunky wings, and oversized wheels. The interior "is designed to serve as a snug cocoon and is inspired by a bird's nest," it states.

The company posted a video in which Laurens van den Acker, senior vice president of Renault Design, and Serge Mouangue, brands manager, discuss the car, with Mouangue explaining it is meant to appeal to younger drivers who are comfortable with technology and van den Acker calling the drone "your eye in the sky." They don't address how a driver could drive safely and simultaneously deploy and operate a drone, however.

Some people posting comments to the article about the Kwid are predicting "drone wars" among drivers and dead drones lying in heaps along the roadway, but one suggested the "flying companion" could be useful for finding and then securing empty parking spaces in crowded lots.

What else do you think the "flying companion" could do? And does the idea of equipping a new car model with a traffic-detecting drone seem like genius or madness to you?

Posted by Jerry Laws on Feb 07, 2014