If you’ve ever had a flat tire on the road, or your car won’t start in the winter, you may have called roadside assistance to get you back on track.
You call the service, and they dispatch someone to come to where you are to help.
But in a time when drones are learning to deliver packages and little coolers with wheels are dropped off food for people, it could be that roadside assistance sends something to help you.
The auto news website TheDrive.com reported on a patent from Toyota outlining a system of self-driving drones that could pull up to a vehicle and give it some gas, or, if it runs on electricity, give it a charge.
The system the patent describes would use GPS to find the stranded car or truck and then use some other sensors to find the charging port or gas tank, though the driver would probably have to help it get started.
This is just a concept so far; we don’t have any robotic helpers on the roadside yet.
They still have to develop the technology to make drones that can actually do all of this, as well as address the safety and legal issues that come with adding them to our transportation system.
Or maybe they could build a drone that can do all of that work too?
Here’s a story about a very different kind of assistance on the roads.
Doctors in Italy needed to get a donor kidney in Rome to a patient in Padua, normally a six hour drive away.
But, of course, in medicine, every second counts.
So the authorities used a special Lamborghini they keep for such situations.
It made the 300 mile trip in just about two hours.
That patient has a heck of a transplant story now, right?