Ford Files Patent For Deployable Side Screens For Its Off-Road Vehicles

Could This Be A New Safety Feature On Future Broncos?

Ford patent showing off-road screen system. (USPTO).

In the rugged world of off-roading, safety often takes a backseat to adventure. But Ford is aiming to change that narrative with a groundbreaking patent that could revolutionize the off-road experience. The automotive giant has recently filed a patent for deployable screen doors designed specifically for its off-road SUVs, potentially including the iconic Ford Bronco.

Unveiled in October 2020, not long after the Bronco’s reintroduction with its hallmark removable doors, this patent signals Ford’s commitment to enhancing both safety and enjoyment for off-road enthusiasts. While removing the doors of a Ford Bronco might offer an exhilarating experience on the trails, it can pose challenges, especially when transitioning to highway driving or for those seeking added security without the hassle of installing tube doors.

The patent showcases a sophisticated system of screens that can be deployed either automatically or at the driver’s command, providing an innovative solution to the age-old conundrum of door removal. Utilizing electric motors, these screens can swiftly move into position, offering occupants a sense of security without sacrificing the thrill of open-air driving.

But Ford’s ambitions don’t stop there. In addition to addressing door security concerns, the patent also hints at a broader safety aspect. By incorporating pyrotechnic devices into the design, these screens could be rapidly deployed in the event of a collision, potentially mitigating the risk of ejection or injury for occupants. Sensors would ensure safe deployment, minimizing the possibility of harm to limbs or extremities.

Ford Bronco Riptide Concept with tube doors. (Ford).

While the concept of electrically deployable screens may seem futuristic, Ford’s patent underscores the company’s dedication to innovation and safety. However, the ultimate fate of this technology remains uncertain. As with many patents, not all ideas come to fruition, and Ford’s deployable screen doors are no exception. The inclusion of pyrotechnic charges adds an additional layer of complexity, prompting questions about feasibility and practicality.

Nevertheless, the prospect of enhanced safety and convenience in off-road vehicles is undoubtedly enticing. Ford’s patent represents a bold step forward in the automotive industry, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of off-road engineering.

Whether this feature will become a standard inclusion in future Ford SUVs remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: with its deployable screen doors, Ford is charting a course towards a safer, more exhilarating off-road experience for adventurers everywhere.