Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a steering wheel preconditioning system, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on August 28th, 2019, published on October 4th, 2022, and assigned serial number 11458801.
The Ford Authority Take
Ford has filed a host of heater-related patents in recent months, including one for heated windshield wiper blades, a heated windshield camera viewing zone, a heated steering wheel equipped with multiple heaters, a heated side window system, a roof-mounted HVAC system, an integrated heat pump system, and an instant cabin heating system. Now, that trend continues with this new Ford patent, which presents an idea for a steering wheel preconditioning system.
Much like EVs offer owners the ability to precondition the cabin of a vehicle to ensure that it’s warm or cool when they step inside, this new Ford patent aims to make the steering wheel either cool or warm to the touch as well, depending on the type of weather outside. The patent notes that this could be accomplished using a vehicle’s HVAC vents, which could blow warm or cold air on the steering wheel while it moves around automatically.
Additionally, an infrared camera could be used to determine which way the steering wheel needs to be rotated to ensure even heating or cooling, which is a bit different than the way existing heated/cooled steering wheels function. This patent applies mainly to vehicles that aren’t equipped with those types of wheels, however, though it could easily be altered to function with existing heated and cooled steering wheels, it seems.
This idea is an natural progression from preconditioned cabin features, which are already becoming more and more common on modern vehicles. As such, it would make perfect sense for future models – particularly all-electric ones, which can be safely preconditioned in confined spaces without emitting any sort of harmful emissions.