Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a system designed to help hearing impaired drivers that could be used in future Ford vehicles, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on June 15th, 2022, published on October 24th, 2023, and assigned serial number 11794770.
The Ford Authority Take
Aside from filing a patent for a vehicle audio enhancement system and an in-vehicle hearing test system recently, Ford has long sought to help those with hearing impairments – even designing and offering special N95 masks for those folks during the height of the pandemic. Now, this newly filed patent keeps that trend going by introducing an idea for a system designed to help hearing impaired drivers that could be used in future Ford vehicles, too.
As Ford points out in the patent, modern day driver assistance features use artificial intelligence to help detect objects and prevent accidents, but as it stands, they aren’t really designed to function with those that have hearing impairments, and hearing aids don’t do the best job of supporting driving situations, either. As such, the system in this patent aims to address those shortcomings in a few different ways.
Aside from utilizing an “accessibility mode,” the system would be able to provide sensory aids to the driver that alert them to potential issues and dangers in other ways, such as visually or via haptic feedback. The driver would be able to turn on this mode manually, but the system could also detect when and it it’s needed – making it a potentially useful way to help those with hearing impairments if the idea does in fact come to fruition.