It seems as if Ford is all geared up to protect every technology aspect that deals with autonomous vehicles. Recently, Ford protected its idea that might very well revolutionize the way we will travel in autonomous vehicles. Ford’s new design for vehicle seating looks like a round conference table or a kitchen table.
In its latest published patent US20170259772 titled, ‘Vehicle table with deployable airbag’, Ford describes the interior of the vehicle compartment with a retractable table and 4 swiveling seats arranged around it. Ford, being the pioneer it is in vehicular security, has also included an airbag around the table’s perimeter that would inflate in an event of vehicle collision. We believe a patent to enhance the safety of the passengers sitting sideways or backwards in the vehicle is also on the cards in the near future.
The clear intention behind redesigning vehicular seats is to avoid monitoring of the vehicle during its autonomous operation so that the passengers can enjoy the vehicle amenities and have a relaxing experience while travelling from Point A to Point B. Further, the new seats are configurable that allow the passenger to face inward around the table with their fellow passenger. This will allow the passengers to have a roundtable discussion, work or eat together. This redesigned interior is only possible in an autonomous vehicle as it wouldn’t require a transmission tunnel.
Although, it is true that every new invention doesn’t always bring a new business plan or product, but it will be interesting to see if Ford brings this innovation to its product line and if it does, when.