Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Renault’s new concept car gives drivers an unusual companion: a small flying drone, controllable via tablet or preset GPS waypoints, which scans the area ahead for obstacles and traffic. Designed with the Indian market in mind, the Renault Kwid has a SUV-style body that makes it ideal for off-roading. It’s the first concept car unveiled by the company outside of Europe. The so-called “flying companion” can exit the vehicle via a retractable hatch in the roof, and buzz around the immediate vicinity shooting video and photos; as this is a concept, actual hardware and software specs aren’t available, although Renault’s engineers envision something closer to the size of a small bird than some of the larger drones currently available. Renault’s engineers found their inspiration for the Kwid’s shape in American off-roaders, with a high chassis and sturdy lines; inside, the driver sits in the middle as opposed to the right or left, on a bench seat. The vehicle can accommodate five people total. But how practical is a “driving drone”? Considering all the accidents caused by people texting or Web-surfing while driving, it seems questionable to introduce a piece of hardware that could prove even more distracting—imagine trying to successfully guide a drone with touch-screen controls while navigating a fast-paced roadway, and you can see why the idea of a “flying companion” would raise the collective blood pressure of traffic-safety officials. Yes, it would be safer for a passenger to handle drone-flying duties while the driver concentrates on the road; but it’s also a near-certainty, if such a concept ever went into production, that more than one driver would attempt to multi-task the navigation of two vehicles at once. Do you think this idea is feasible?"
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