Google and many other companies are aggressively working on self-driving cars. These cars are going to fundamentally change human life. But public at large is unaware on how these cars are going to look like in day-to-day real life scenarios.
Ford has been developing features that would be helpful when the self-driving cars finally hit the roads. For example, with the car driving all by itself, the front seats are no longer required. Therefore, Ford has patented technology to fold and stow away the front seats to make more space in the car and convert the interior of the car into a living room. In fact, everything from the seats to the steering wheel is reconfigurable. Users can use the additional space to play video games or entertain themselves in other ways.
Further, the front seats can be rotated to face the back seats. This allows all passengers to enjoy a game of porker with their friends while being driven to their destination. Further, while traveling with business associates in the car, users can instantly set up a round table conference. The console which is usually placed between the front seats of the car is also movable and can be positioned anywhere within the interior of the car to act as a table.
What is amazing is that all these transformations can take place while the car is in motion.
Patent Number – US9,096,150
Patent Title – Autonomous vehicle with reconfigurable seats
Inventors: Cuddihy; Mark A. (New Boston, MI), Rao; Manoharprasad K. (Novi, MI), Le; Jialiang (Canton, MI)
Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC (Dearbor, MI)
Family ID: 53174106
Appl. No.: 14/085,135
Filed: November 20, 2013
Abstract: A vehicle includes a passenger compartment and at least one seat located in the passenger compartment. The seat can be moved from a front-facing position to a rear-facing position for when the vehicle is operating in an autonomous mode. The vehicle may further include autonomous driving sensors and an autonomous controller that receives signals generated by the autonomous driving sensors and controls at least one vehicle subsystems according to the signals received.
Patent document available here – http://1.usa.gov/1UJu9iu
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