Drones are mainly used for aerial photography and transporting objects. They are often used alone, but there are projects in which they are added to other, larger vehicles. While such projects are mostly either conceptual or at the prototype stage, engineers continue to develop new options for combining drones with wheeled vehicles.
The Japanese car and motorcycle manufacturer Honda has recently filed a patent application for a bike-mounted drone. The details available from the filed patent describe a quadcopter installed on the elongated ‘tail’ of a motorcycle.
The patent does not go into detail about the operation of the system. It does not even specify how the handling of this drone is done, which should be automatic since the pilot cannot operate two vehicles at the same time. It is an autonomous flying device that should be released on command and returned automatically to the bike when promoted.
The images offered by the patent show that the quadcopter is installed inside a box located at the rear of the motorcycle. When the drone is not in use, the box will be closed. When it comes into action, it opens, and the drone unfolds the propellers and takes off from the rear to allow the autonomous drone to fly out. The flying device would be able to navigate and return to the motorcycle without external help.
The patent fails to explain the exact purpose of a bike-mounted drone, though there could be several possibilities related to using such a technology.
One of the potential uses of such a technology is that such drones could be utilized to fly ahead and keep an eye on the road conditions, keeping the rider updated about obstacles, the existence of traffic, or some exceptional danger on the road. It can also be used to notify the emergency services in the event of an accident or even to transport a replacement battery to the place where the motorcycle ran out of power.
It is currently unknown how the drone will be launched from a moving bike and how it will reattach itself at moving speeds. However, at the moment, it is just a patent. More details on this may roll out sometime in the future.