Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a missing vehicular body part detection system, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on October 21st, 2020, published on April 21st, 2022, and assigned serial number 0121950.
The Ford Authority Take
Over the past several weeks, Ford has filed a number of new patents that utilize sensors in a variety of interesting ways. Those include a patent for a vehicular bailout detection and mitigation system, a wet seat detection and mitigation system, and a vehicular wrong way travel detection system. Now, this new Ford patent introduces the idea for a system that’s capable of detecting when body parts are missing from a vehicle.
The patent outlines how this system would work, starting with its array of sensors that collect radar, weather, collision, aerodynamic drag, sensor fusion, and radar range data. A computer would collect this data and use it to determine if any kind of body part is missing, and if it is, warn the driver, adjust sensor calibrations, and change the operation of the vehicle accordingly to compensate.
While it may seem a bit strange on the surface, this new Ford patent does serve one important function on modern vehicles that are increasingly equipped with radar sensors located somewhere on the front and rear. If a vehicle loses a part holding one of these sensors, things like adaptive cruise control may cease functioning or not function properly, which could result in an accident.
Thus, this patent seeks to avoid that kind of problem by making adjustments to the way a vehicle operates post-crash. It makes sense on a number of levels, particularly as many automakers – including Ford – are working diligently on developing autonomous driving technology and adding more and more driver-assist features to new vehicles.