At the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford had a rather hip, tech-savvy promotion buzzing about its booth; a remote-controlled quadricopter – a.k.a. “drone” – was taking orders for delivery of toy Ford F-150 Raptor models like the one pictured above.[To increase structural rigidity on my Ford F-150 Raptor model, I laid down beads of superfluous Gorilla Glue at key structural corners; one can assemble the entire model using no adhesives. -ed.]
But before we even had a chance to make our way down to the Ford booth and enter the secret text message that would trigger our own drone deliveries, controversy arose. As Automotive News reports, there was enough disdain and distrust for the drone’s, erm, “unrestricted” flight path that show-goers complained.
Eventually, the Detroit city fire marshal was brought in, and shut the drone operation down for an hour while a more secluded flight path was devised. In the end, a portion in the center of Ford’s expansive booth was roped off and served as restricted air space so that the quadricopter could resume making Ford F-150 Raptor deliveries, uninhibited by show-goers’ discontent.
Gauravjit Singh – CEO of the marketing company contracted to man the drone deliveries (DroneCast) – said that the fire marshal’s response was not surprising, as Ford didn’t leave sufficient time between planning the stunt and the actual auto show to secure all necessary permits.