Car video reviews:

Microsoft Thinks We Can All Be James Bond, Wants to Ship Products to Moving Cars

Unlike Apple, Microsoft doesn't plan to build a full car, or at least, not right now. Still, this doesn’t necessarily mean the software giant can’t get involved in the automotive industry in one way or another.
Drawing envisioning how a drone could drop a package to a moving car 5 photos
Microsoft patent drawingMicrosoft patent drawingMicrosoft patent drawingMicrosoft patent drawing
That said, a recent patent provides us with a look at a rather uncanny idea that Microsoft could use to become a new entry in the car business.

The name of the patent pretty much sums it all. Filed in 2017 and approved in February this year, the patent called “en route product delivery to by unmanned aerial vehicles” describes a way to use drones to deliver various products to a moving vehicle.

In other words, each and every one of us can become the next James Bond, as a drone can fly over our cars and drop some goods through the open sunroof. As weird as that may sound, Microsoft thinks this is something that should be part of our future, though it’s hard to imagine how this could safely fit our daily routines.

Maybe Microsoft believes a drone could drop the groceries on our way back home, or maybe the company thinks this is a solution Amazon could eventually use to ship its orders without us having to wait for the parcel? That’s hard to say, but without a doubt, the idea sounds unusual, even in 2021.

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) rendezvous with and transfers a product to a receiving vehicle that is en route to a destination-location. The UAV is dispatched with the product along a flight path that intercepts with a predetermined route that the receiving vehicle is expected to travel along toward the destination-location,” the abstract section of the patent reads.

At some level, this could work with self-driving vehicles, though it’ll probably be quite a challenge to make the whole thing safe and without posing a risk for the other cars on the road, in case the package is dropped too soon.

Once the UAV is within the vicinity of the receiving vehicle, the UAV approaches the receiving vehicle and utilizes cargo release equipment to transfer the product to the receiving vehicle. In one example, the UAV flies above the receiving vehicle at a synchronized velocity and drops the product through an opening in the roof of the receiving vehicle. In another example, the UAV flies above the receiving vehicle and suspends the product adjacent to a side-window opening of the receiving vehicle to enable an occupant of the receiving vehicle to reach out and retrieve the product.

Of course, the whole thing is just a patent, for now, so you’d better not hold your breath for anything like this to reach the mass production stage just yet.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories