Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for downwardly deployable bumpers that could be used on future Ford vehicles, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on February 7th, 2022, published on August 10th, 2023, and assigned serial number 0249636.
The Ford Authority Take
In recent months, Ford has filed a few patents that aim to make vehicles safer for pedestrians in the event of an accident, including a bumper assembly with an integrated airbag and an external airbag system, to name just a couple. Now, this newly filed patent keeps that trend going somewhat by introducing an idea for downwardly deployable bumpers that could be used on future Ford vehicles.
The idea of bumpers and other structures that are capable of absorbing energy during impacts is nothing new, having been around for decades at this point in various forms, such as crushable bumpers, crush or deformation zones, and even frames designed to do the same thing in the event of a vehicle-on-vehicle accident. However, as this patent points out, vehicles tend to have very different ride heights, particularly as trucks and SUVs have become more popular in recent years.
This creates a bit of a problem when something like a high-riding truck or SUV collides with a passenger car head-on, and in many cases, we’ve seen smaller cars actually go underneath taller vehicles – which isn’t a good thing for the occupants of those types of vehicles. Thus, this patent filing aims to solve that problem by incorporating a downwardly deploying bumper for high-riding vehicles that lowers itself automatically.
With automotive deaths on the rise in the U.S., such an idea makes quite a bit of sense, given the fact that many of those fatal accidents involve larger vehicles colliding with smaller ones. It’s a simple yet potentially effective way to ensure that those small rides don’t wind up underneath larger ones, and as such, could prove useful in the real world.