"So do I need to put in a pilot droid?"
No. Pilot Droids are only for preventing your ship/vehicle from aborting its travel when you move Into a docked ship or vehicle inside the container ship/vehicle. Your situation is (unless I'm misreading): You are outside on a planet, You want to see the same sensor distance as what you see when you're in your ship.
Answer: You can't do that. The best you can do is share sensors with other friendly npcs/droids at your level if you both have Sensor Packs (MSPs, Bio Sensors, etc.). I'm also given to understand that for some reason Sensor Beacons will share a small amount of vision as well if you litter the ground with them.
Also, AFAIK any ships in your squadron share with the SHIP, not with you, so when you exit your ship you won't see the extra vision.
"Friends I am guessing means the respective owners are list2d as friendly in the friend or foe settings?"
You'd share sensors with those on Your IFF Friend list. Those who have YOU/your faction on THEIR IFF Friend list will share with you.
Edited By: Kay Dallben on Year 18 Day 191 9:47
Year 18 Day 191 10:18
Deleted by Alexander Blackforge. Reason: Nevermind.
What matters most is whether the ship is actively piloted or not. More or less that means the pilot is on board, but can include when the ship is part of a party which has an actively-piloted leader. Person A pilots Ship A, whose owner has you listed as IFF Friendly, Ship A is also leading a squadron with Ship B (also owner has you IFF Friendly). Sensors of Ship A and Ship B are shared with your piloted ship (provided your ship is owned by You)
As you say, being in the faction does set you as IFF friendly unless someone in the faction manually added you as enemy. If the assigned ship has the same sensor power as this other ship, you don't get extra Sensors. But recall that the ship has to be actively piloted in order to share sensors, so if you hop from one ship to another the former ship is no longer piloted.
If you're convinced it's not working according to the Rules or as described here, gather the exact details of what you're trying (all ship types, what vision looks like from each ship, owners & pilots of the respective ships, all steps you take and results of same), and submit a bug report. Images help for Sensor troubleshooting.