DJI is working on drone-to-car technology

A recent patent granted to DJI discloses a drone that docks with a ground vehicle, such as, a car, a truck, a van, or a bus.

The drone can take off and also land on the vehicle. The drone may be used to capture images and stream the images live to a display within the vehicle. The vehicle can control the drone during flight.

The drone is capable of distinguishing the companion vehicle from other vehicles within 5 kilometers of the companion vehicle.


A user can use the drone to survey a traffic jam and find alternate routes. Further, a user may use the drone to survey a parking lot to find a vacant spot.


Moreover, the companion vehicle may be a law enforcement vehicle (e.g., police car), fire truck, ambulance, or any other type of first responder vehicle. The first responders in the companion vehicle may want to gather more information about the emergency to which they are responding before arriving on the scene. Accordingly, the drone may fly ahead and be used to provide additional information about the emergency. For example, if there is a car accident, medical emergency, fire, or any type of crisis, the drone may gather information about the situation (e.g., capture images of the situation) and send the information to the companion vehicle before the companion vehicle arrives. This will help first responders plan for and respond to the emergency more quickly and effectively.

Earlier this year, Ford and DJI announced that they are jointly working on drones that can work with vehicles.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 9,457,915
Patent Title: Systems and methods for UAV docking
Publication date: 4 Oct 2016
Filing date: 17 Aug 2015
Inventors: Mingyu Wang;
Original Assignee: SZ DJI TECHNOLOGY Co., Ltd