Ford is preparing for the future when self-driving cars become ubiquitous

Ford thinks that front seats in cars are obsolete. They are not wrong. As autonomous vehicles become more sophisticated, the amount of passenger interaction required by the autonomous vehicle decreases. Eventually, autonomous vehicles will require no passenger interaction beyond, e.g., selecting a destination, leaving passengers to focus on non-driving-related tasks.

This patent discloses a system that allows the front seats to be moved from a front-facing position to a rear-facing position when the vehicle is stationary or while the vehicle is operating in an autonomous mode.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 9340126
Patent Title: Autonomous vehicle with reconfigurable seats
Publication date: May 17, 2016
Filing date: May 20, 2015
Inventors: Mark A. Cuddihy; Manoharprasad K. Rao; Jialiang Le;
Original Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC