Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for energy absorbing rock rails that could be used on future Ford off-road vehicles, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on May 9th, 2022, published on October 17th, 2023, and assigned serial number 11787482.
The Ford Authority Take
With the off-road hobby blowing up in popularity over the past few years, Ford has filed a number of patents that aim to innovate in that particular space lately, including filings for an off-road lighting control system, a system designed to share animal watching info, a ladder and recovery board combo, and integrated sand ladders, to name just a few. Now, this newly-filed patent keeps that trend going by introducing an idea for energy absorbing rock rails that could be used on future Ford off-road vehicles, too.
Rock rails are a common feature on a number of new, off-road-focused vehicles, as well as a popular aftermarket upgrade for those that aren’t equipped as such from the factory. However, these items are just regular old pieces of metal that can still bend and get banged up, which is essentially the point – to protect the bodywork underneath. However, the energy-absorbing rock rails depicted in this patent might do an even better job for a number of reasons.
These rock rails would consist of a metal beam structure, an energy absorbing layer that could be made out of a foamed polymer-based material, and an outer skin made from a polymer-based material. This way, when the rails strike an object like a rock, they could absorb some of that impact and perhaps better prevent damage from occurring – making it a pretty enticing idea for those that routinely like to take their vehicles off-road.