Ford and DJI have teamed up to announce the drone-to-vehicle developer challenge.

Ford and DJI have teamed up to announce the drone-to-vehicle developer challenge.

Designed to create a disaster area surveying system for the United Nations Development Program, the challenge tasks participants with designing a drone-to-vehicle communication system using either Ford SYNC AppLink or OpenXC.

The goal of the system is to create software that would enable first responders to drive an F-150 into an emergency zone and then deploy a drone using the SYNC 3 infotainment system.  The drone would then travel into the hardest hit areas and capture video to document the damage and identify survivors. Ideally, the system would pair with the driver's smartphone so data from the drone can be shared with other first responders in real-time.

The winner of the drone-to-vehicle developer challenge will receive $100,000 and could potentially see their software save lives in the aftermath of an earthquake or tsunami.

According to Ford's vice president of Research and Advanced Engineering, Ken Washington, “At Ford, we are driving innovation in every part of our business to help make people’s lives better. Working with DJI and the United Nations, there is an opportunity to make a big difference with vehicles and drones working together for a common good.”

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