Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a deployable trail sight, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on August 16th, 2021, published on February 16th, 2023, and assigned serial number 0052290.
The Ford Authority Take
Ford has filed a handful of off-road-related patents in recent months – aiming to innovate in a red-hot segment at the moment – a list that includes filings for a vehicular attitude control system and a stranded motorist assistance system, to name just a couple. Now, this newly filed Ford patent presents an idea for a deployable trail sight, which is quite similar to the fixed units present on the sixth-generation Ford Bronco – albeit ones that can be hidden away when not in use.
The Bronco’s trail sights serve multiple purposes, helping to guide the driver along a path and quickly determine where the vehicle’s boundaries lie. In the case of the Bronco, the trail sights also double as tie-downs for things like kayaks and other large items that may be stored on the roof, too.
However, this patent seems to assume that some people may not like the presence of the trail sights during normal driving circumstances, which is precisely where the idea for a retractable design comes from. The sights in the patent look identical to the ones already in use on the 2021+ Bronco, but feature a mechanism underneath that is able to pull them down into the fenders when they’re not needed, resulting in a cleaner viewpoint.
Whether or not such a thing is necessary is up for debate, it’s possible that there are at least a few folks out there that find the Bronco’s trail sights to be more of a nuisance (or an eyesore) than helpful – particularly those that don’t bother to venture off-road often, if at all. If that’s the case, such an idea may very well have some merit.
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…. just last night, I was telling my parole officer, that my Bronco trailsights were too bothersome …
Love that comment, Scott.
“…helping to guide the driver along a path and quickly determine where the vehicle’s boundaries lie”. Huh?? For the life of me I can’t figure how these used by the driver, esp the passenger side. I can understand the vertical poles on the top of a plow blade for example. It would seem many drivers need help knowing where their tires are so as to avoid punctures and holes? Or knowing if a ‘lil tree branch or some brush might scuff their pretty paint?