Home Auto News Ford’s Innovative Reconfigurable Tonneau Cover Patent

Ford’s Innovative Reconfigurable Tonneau Cover Patent

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Ford tonneau cover patent

Tonneau covers traditionally offer basic protection for cargo in a pickup’s bed from weather and theft. However, Ford is exploring a more advanced concept.

The company has filed a patent for a tonneau cover made of adjustable panels, designed to adapt in various ways, primarily to minimize aerodynamic drag.

Overview of the Ford F-250 Super Duty

Submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in early 2022 and made public on November 30, the patent outlines a tonneau cover consisting of three triangular-shaped panels.

These panels are equipped with hinges and actuators, enabling them to shift from a flat layout to an angled configuration, reminiscent of the Tesla Cybertruck’s bed profile, among others. The design includes a specific configuration for directing airflow away from the vehicle’s rear.

Patent Illustration of Ford’s Reconfigurable Tonneau Cover

Ford’s proposed materials for these panels range from solid options like polymers, fiberglass, aluminum, and composites, to softer materials like vinyl or canvas with supporting frames. The patent suggests these panels could be operated through a central control system, linked to the vehicle’s sensors. This system might adjust the panels automatically, such as raising them to channel airflow out of the bed at higher speeds.

With the renewed focus on aerodynamics in the era of electric vehicles (EVs), as it contributes to extended range, this innovation aligns with Ford’s objectives. The company is developing a new electric pickup, known internally as T3, set to launch in 2025 as Ford’s inaugural EV-specific pickup design.

While not all patented ideas by automakers reach production, the T3 presents a realistic application for this innovative reconfigurable tonneau cover.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ford tonneau cover patent

What is Ford’s recent patent about?

Ford has patented a reconfigurable tonneau cover, designed with movable panels to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance cargo protection in pickup trucks.

How does Ford’s new tonneau cover work?

The cover features three adjustable triangular panels, equipped with hinges and actuators, allowing them to change shape and deflect air, thereby improving the vehicle’s aerodynamics.

What materials are proposed for Ford’s tonneau cover?

Ford suggests using hard materials like polymer, fiberglass, aluminum, or composites, as well as softer options like vinyl or canvas supported by frames for the tonneau cover.

How is the reconfigurable tonneau cover controlled?

A central controller linked to the vehicle’s sensors would coordinate the movement of the panels, adapting their positions based on factors like vehicle speed for optimal aerodynamics.

What significance does this patent have for Ford’s EV trucks?

This innovative tonneau cover could play a crucial role in Ford’s electric vehicle (EV) strategy, especially for the upcoming T3 electric pickup, by enhancing range through improved aerodynamics.

More about Ford tonneau cover patent

  • Ford’s Tonneau Cover Patent Details
  • Overview of Ford F-250 Super Duty
  • US Patent and Trademark Office Filings
  • Ford’s Electric Vehicle Development Plans
  • Aerodynamics in Electric Vehicle Design

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PatentGeek December 11, 2023 - 12:46 am

interesting patent, but lets be real, how many of these patents actually make it to production? not holding my breath.

MikeTruckFan December 11, 2023 - 1:11 am

wow this is pretty cool, Ford’s really stepping up their game with this tonneau cover, aerodynamics in trucks is a big deal now huh?

TruckLover101 December 11, 2023 - 4:23 am

Ford’s always innovating, but I’m wondering about the cost, adding all these high tech features to a truck ain’t gonna be cheap.

EVPioneer December 11, 2023 - 10:12 am

Great to see Ford pushing into EVs more, but I’m skeptical, how much range can a tonneau cover actually add? we’ll see i guess.


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