Ford has recently submitted multiple patent applications that could revolutionize the interior of pickup trucks. The American automaker has submitted as many as nine different patent applications to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). These submissions span a variety of innovative features, including seats that can swivel, steering columns that are retractable, and in-cab work stations that unfold, thus transforming the vehicle’s cabin into a multifunctional space when parked.
Overview of Ford Mustang Mach-E
Various patent applications center on the adaptability of seating arrangements. Noteworthy among the innovations are rear seats that can rotate to face an extendable table affixed to the rear wall of the crew cab. Additionally, ottomans can be extended from the rear of the front seats, introducing a luxurious feature that is traditionally more common in high-end cars rather than pickup trucks.
Retractable Steering Column Patent
A separate patent application outlines the design of a retractable steering column. This column would have telescoping capabilities and could retract inward when not in operation, thereby maximizing available space within the cabin.
Fold-Out Work Station Patent
Another patent covers the concept of an in-vehicle fold-out work station. As per the patent details, a flat working surface would be mounted to the underside of a seat and could be deployed as needed. The seat linked to this work station would also swivel sideways, allowing the individual using the workspace to face one of the side windows. This is seen as a modified version of an earlier Ford patent regarding movable in-vehicle tables that came to light earlier in the year.
Extensions Beyond the Cabin
Ford’s innovative ideas are not confined to the truck’s cabin. Another patent elaborates on fold-out seating arrangements in the truck bed. These seats would emerge from the sides of the bed and function much like jump seats, per the patent description. Ford has explicitly noted that these varied seating configurations are intended solely for use when the vehicle is stationary. This innovation is reminiscent of the Subaru Brat, a car-like pickup that featured rear-facing bed seats in the late 1970s.
Thematic Continuity and Future Applications
Although patented concepts do not necessarily translate into commercial products, Ford appears keen on making its truck interiors more versatile. The company already offers features such as seats that fold flat and a folding shifter that transforms the center console into a flat workspace in its F-150 model. Patents for a dashboard desk and reclining front seats have also been filed, indicating a recurring theme.
As for potential applications, the patent sketches predominantly depict a truck featuring a cab-forward design with minimal space in front of the windshield. This design is akin to the visual representations Ford has shared in discussions about its forthcoming electric truck initiatives.
Ford has announced plans to unveil a new electric pickup truck, codenamed T3, slated for launch in 2025. This new electric truck and a future three-row electric SUV are being engineered as electric vehicles from inception. Ford CEO Jim Farley has likened the T3 to the “Millennium Falcon” of trucks, suggesting that it could indeed incorporate some of these groundbreaking interior features.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ford pickup truck interiors
What are the key features in Ford’s recent patent applications for pickup truck interiors?
The key features in Ford’s recent patent applications include swiveling seats, retractable steering columns, and fold-out in-cab work stations. These features are designed to transform the truck’s interior into a versatile, multi-use space when the vehicle is stationary.
How many patent applications has Ford submitted recently for pickup truck interiors?
Ford has recently submitted as many as nine different patent applications to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) regarding pickup truck interiors.
Are these new features aimed solely for Ford’s electric trucks?
While the patent sketches predominantly depict a truck with a cab-forward design similar to Ford’s electric truck presentations, there is no explicit indication that these features are solely for electric trucks. However, the innovations do align with Ford’s forthcoming electric truck initiatives.
Will these patented ideas definitely make it to production models?
Patented concepts do not necessarily guarantee implementation in production models. However, Ford’s existing features in its F-150 model, as well as the thematic continuity in its patents, suggest a keen interest in versatile truck interiors.
Is Ford the first company to consider such interior innovations?
While Ford’s patents are innovative, the concept of versatile seating and workstations in vehicles isn’t entirely new. The Subaru Brat in the late 1970s, for instance, had rear-facing bed seats. Nonetheless, Ford is taking a comprehensive approach to rethinking pickup truck interiors.
What does Ford’s CEO Jim Farley say about the upcoming electric pickup codenamed T3?
Ford CEO Jim Farley has likened the upcoming electric pickup, codenamed T3, to the “Millennium Falcon” of trucks. This suggests that the T3 could indeed incorporate some groundbreaking interior features.
Are there any existing Ford models with similar features?
Ford’s current F-150 model already includes some features aimed at increasing interior versatility, such as fold-flat seats and a folding shifter that transforms the center console into a flat workspace.
What types of vehicles are these patented features intended for?
The patented features are primarily intended for pickup trucks. Most of the patent applications feature sketches of trucks, and the narrative focuses on transforming the cabins of such vehicles into multifunctional spaces.
More about Ford pickup truck interiors
- Ford’s Official Patent Filings at the USPTO
- Overview of Ford Mustang Mach-E
- Ford F-150 Features
- Ford’s Electric Truck Plans
- History of Subaru Brat
- Statement from Ford CEO Jim Farley