Any well-managed company listens closely to the wants and needs of its customers. After all, it is these customers whose dollars keep the company in business.
Being a well-managed automaker, Ford Motor Company has a website where employees and ordinary folk alike can submit suggestions; if Ford takes a shine to the idea, the company may even help its originator to help them secure the intellectual property rights.
But not every idea is a winner, and website Quartz managed to find a page on Ford’s site which lists a few frequently-submitted ideas that the company really, really wishes people would stop suggesting – because they’re impossible to implement, already in the works, or just plain silly. Here they are:
Dual Fuel Filler Doors
Or fuel filler doors in a specific location, such as the back of the vehicle. This idea is the very definition of superfluous; how hard is it to remember which side of the vehicle the fuel filler is on? Or, when in doubt, to look at the little arrow on the dash?
Built-In Car Jack Assemblies
For more easily changing tires or working beneath the vehicle. It’s not necessarily a bad thought, but packaging and implementation might prove difficult on some models. That, and Ford has detailed something like this already in its patent for an electric unicycle that uses one of the car’s wheels as its own.
Specifically, Ford cites those which call for the electrification of roadways. Again, it’s not a bad thought, but Ford doesn’t actually build the roads, so…
Alternative Propulsion Technologies
Just about every automaker in the world these days is an expert in alternative propulsion systems, such as electricity, hydrogen, and the like. If you’ve had the idea, it’s likely already been proposed and/or dismissed. Fuel sources/propulsion concepts cited by Ford’s list include HHO/Brown’s Gas, electrolysis, windmills, turbines, solar, and magnetic drivetrains.
Exterior Indicators To Alert Others That Occupants Aren’t Wearing Their Seatbelts
Okay, we have a couple of questions. First, is this so that other motorists know to take special care around the vehicle containing the unrestrained occupants, or so that they can shout at said occupants until they buckle the hell up? Second, does this really get suggested that often?
Disable Cell Phones While Driving
Even assuming this is possible, passengers’ cell phones would presumably also be blocked, which would be a huge annoyance. Plus, hands-free calling is a thing, as is speech-to-text, and plenty of motorists use their smart phones for media and navigation.
Most importantly, what if the driver has to make an emergency phone call?
Here, Ford cites suggestions such as “transition” windshields which would automatically darken or lighten based on light exposure, and elemental barriers, which… we don’t know what that is. A transition windshield is one idea we might actually get behind, so long as the transition from fully-shaded to transparent were quick and not too jarring for the driver. And it proved reliable; the last thing you want is a gigantic sunglass lens for a windscreen in the pitch dark of night.
New Brake Light Behaviors
For instance, brake lights which ramp-up in intensity as the brake pedal is further depressed, color-shifting brake lights, flashing brake lights, etc. Federal laws restrict what Ford can do here, and we sort of feel it’s a bit unnecessary anyway. Usually.
Occupant Detection Systems
To alert the driver if he or she has accidentally left a child or a pet in the vehicle before walking away. Here, we’re guessing it’s just a case of Ford receiving the same suggestion too many times; it’s a perfectly fine idea, and in all likelihood, it will eventually make its way into passenger vehicles.