Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a fleet inspection and maintenance robot, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on February 9th, 2021, published on September 12th, 2023, and assigned serial number 11752631.
The Ford Authority Take
Aside from a recently-filed Ford patent outlining an idea for last mile travel routes for robots, FoMoCo has long used those same mechanical creations to do things like automatically charge EVs, help assembly plant workers with limited mobility, install body panels on the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and even retool plants. Now, this newly filed Ford patent keeps that trend going in a different direction, this time by presenting us with an idea for a fleet inspection and maintenance robot.
In the world of commercial vehicles, downtime is the enemy of profit, and fleets do everything they can to ensure that maintenance is completed on a regular basis to prevent it. However, over time, parts wear out and things break, which can be quite costly to commercial customers in more ways than one. That’s precisely where this patent comes into play – it aims to use robots to inspect fleet vehicles, as well as perform maintenance on them, which could ultimately save businesses a lot of money in the long run.
These robots would be capable of detecting when a vehicle has a maintenance issue using various sensors, then navigate itself to that vehicle and rectify the problem on the spot. At the same time, the robot would also be capable of performing routine maintenance tasks like changing oil, checking tire pressure, and even washing the vehicle, or charging an EV that needs it.
Of course, deploying robots to handle these sorts of tasks would save not only in terms of labor costs, but perhaps reduce downtime as well, particularly if a robot is able to find and fix a problem before it renders a vehicle inoperable. Given Ford’s recent focus on these types of things, it wouldn’t be surprising to see such a machine come to fruition in the future.