Epic Games has expressed numerous times in the past that they were looking into a respawn feature for Fortnite. This feature isn't by any means new to the balttle royale genre, though it is going to be new for Fortnite in particular, and it has been a feature high in demand following the wild success that Apex Legends ever since it first launched earlier this year.
The studio confirmed in a recent developer update video that they are implementing a respawn feature in next week's update, tasking players with interactive vans to keep them in the game.
Apex Legends doesn't hold the players hand when it comes to in-game survival, but it does heavily encourage a team dynamic by allowing this particular mechanic. If a player sees their teamate down, they can scoop up their banner and get that to a nearby respawn point. Fortnite's will work similarly, which works much better than the current system that once you die, you're done for good.
The talk of respawning shouldn't be confused with with Fortnite currently has, where if a player is knocked down but not yet dead their teammate can revive them. This is purely talking about when a player is down for good.
How these "Reboot Vans" work specifically is that a teammate must scoop up the fallen Reboot Card and then take it to the nearest van, much like Apex. But Epic couldn't just implement this feature without some form of risk to dissuade players from dying all willy nilly. When a Reboot Van is accessed, it will begin to make an obnoxious honking sound that will alert enemies players that there's a presence nearby. Even worse, a giant beam of light will also shoot straight up into the sky, so though the teammate might see light once more -- it's not without consequence.
The Reboot Vans are poised to launch with patch v8.30 that is expected to go live on April 9th.