Firedron

The concept

The Firedron is an autonomous vehicle designed to evacuate people trapped in wildfires or other hazardous situations. It would be completely fireproof and have wide, highly resistant run flat tires, allowing it to cross dangerous terrains where most other vehicles would not be able to slip through.

The background

The Firedron was inspired by the FireQuad, a firefighting side-by-side vehicle concept Imaginactive created in 2013. Last week there were over 200 wildfires ravaging British Columbia. Autonomous vehicles like the Firedrone could get equipment inside hot zones or bring people out of harm’s way.

How it works

The Firedron would be much like a 4×4 internal security vehicle (ISV) designed to withstand fire and heat. The back would open like a cargo plane’s hatch to allow for easy and fast movement of people within. The Firedron would be mounted on all-terrain high traction tires, allowing it to move over a plethora of roads and trails.

This truck would be capable of driving through walls of fire and rough terrain, including over smaller trees. It could be equipped with a plow to clear a path if needed. Its body and frame would be highly resistant so it could be used to ram things, such as fallen debris, out of the way.

With its primary function being to search and rescue civilians during fires, the Firedron would don sensors, searchlights, and a siren to warn of its approach through smoke. The air-conditioned interior would allow it to properly protect its passengers from overheating while carrying them away to safety. (However, do not imagine it would be really cool…)

The Firedron, as the name suggests, would be an autonomous robotic vehicle. It could move either on its own using artificial intelligence software to plot a search grid based on residential areas, cell phone signals, etc., or it could be controlled manually by an operator. By creating a vehicle with no driver, the amount of available space to transport passengers, sometimes with their pets, would be increased, and the use for windows would be eliminated.

It would also be interesting to develop an AI capable of talking with the passengers, calming them and assessing their medical needs, including their state of mind. The Firedon could detect their emotions and adapt its speech and the provided information accordingly.

What it’s used for

Much like the FireQuad, the market is quite open for this type of vehicle. Specialized for fast evacuation of civilians over most terrains, the FireQuad could be purchased by national park services or cities for various uses. It could also be used to evacuate civilians during hostage situations or riots.

The designer

I would like to thank Ashish Thulkar for designing the images of the Firedron. Ashish designed the Orion aircraft and the LRC people mover concept.

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