And if a fleet of drones came to light your way at night ?

Instead of lighting the roads throughout the night and over their entire length by streetlights, an insurance company in uk offers hurry – at the request – of the swarms of drones light that will illuminate the darkness around the user. A bright idea.
No more need to be afraid of the dark, left out the hazards of small country roads in the night, swept the insecurity of bike trails in twilight : with Fleetlights, an armada flying drone comes to the rescue and enlighten your (or your wheels). Starting from the premise that the roads to secondary and rural areas were not adequately illuminated, the insurer Direct Line offers its customers to use an application on their smartphones, coupled with geolocation, which sends one or multiple machines, depending on the needs. An elegant solution, which avoids wasting energy to illuminate roads with little traffic and resources to install miles of cable and hundreds of street lights that would (almost) served to increase the light pollution.
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Fleetlights © Direct Line


Once the request is sent, a message informs you of the arrival of the drones : “Watch the skies, we are in the approach…”. No Ride of the Valkyries music waiting, damage. After arrival, the following message appears : “please be careful, we light up your road” while the squadron is at the vertical of the user. She then has to go in adapting their speed and their respective trajectories so as to always illuminate the road and to anticipate the route. Each machine is a carrier of at least one projector 200 watts of power. For customers whose speed is superior to that of a pedestrian (bicyclists, bikers, motorists) larger models of drones are sent out, equipped with eight propellers rather than four, and three projectors, in order to expand the area covered.


Improve the safety of a road accident-prone


Technologically, the uavs coordinate with each other and rely on the Real Time Kinetics, in a solution that is more accurate than the GPS, with deviations of the order of only 10 to 20 centimeters. The drones have a self-hovering (most energy intensive) 20 to 30 minutes, but machines can come to face, as the journey from the base to the ground. Once their mission is accomplished, the smartphone displays a reassuring : “Are you safe ? Can we leave you ?” before the flying robots to escape.


Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) overflown by a UFO © S. Spielberg

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An experiment was conducted this fall at Petworth, in the south of England (West Sussex), where “one of the most dangerous roads in the United Kingdom“. And the video clip is aesthetically very successful, with images worthy of… “Encounters of the 3rd kind”. Now, don’t worry if you see emerge from the lights in the night sky : it will be drone-guardian angels.

Check out the great video on page 2

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