While city-dwellers have the unique problem in human history of dealing with too much light, many rural areas are still underserved by street lighting, leading to a decreased sense of safety. UK insurance company Direct Line has thought up of an ingenious solution in the form of Fleetlights, where drones equipped with high-powered floodlights are dispatched to a user who requests them through their smartphone. From there, a single drone can light the way for someone walking home by tracking their smartphone signal, or alternatively, a driver can request additional drones to light the road in front of them so they can better anticipate twists and turns.
While the system still has to clear legal, commercial and technical hurdles before releasing to the public, Fleetlights is engineered to be open-source which opens the possibility for other companies to tailor the system to different scenarios, such as post-disaster operations. As for the motivation behind Fleetlights, Direct Line marketing director Mark Evans says, “We believe that the notion of insurance will move from restitution — i.e. fixing things that are broken—to prevention, and actually stop bad things happening in the first place.”