Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for inflatable devices in a vehicle cabin, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on August 10th, 2021, published on January 3rd, 2023, and assigned serial number 11541836.
The Ford Authority Take
Ford has filed quite a few seat-related patents over the past several months, including one for a fully automatic seat positioning system, interchangeable seat cushions, a vehicle seat retention device, and a transformable rear seat for vehicles. Now, this newly filed Ford patent keeps that trend alive by introducing an idea for inflatable devices inside of a vehicle cabin, though it’s somewhat unclear what such a thing would be used for.
Inflatable devices inside of vehicle cabins are typically used as airbags to protect occupants, but in this case, three inflatable devices are located in the seats, though each is floor-mounted. This Ford patent does specifically mention that the inflatable devices could be used as airbags, however, which could protect occupants in the event of a side-impact crash. In that case, they could provide some protection in the event that multiple people are seated in the second- or third-row of a vehicle, tightly packaged together.
On the same token, this particular idea might see other uses in the future as well – perhaps as some sort of partition for passengers that could provide a little bit of privacy in a vehicle. Obviously, the devices would need to be larger for that to work – versus the somewhat small inflatables depicted in the patent drawings – but it’s an interesting idea nonetheless, and one that could come to life in some way, shape, or form in the future.