Ford Just Patented The Strangest Thing I've Ever Seen
No seriously, what the hell is this thing?
In the last 5-10 years Ford has been absolutely crushing it. From dropping the MOAB at NAIAS with the Ford GT announcement, to bringing the RS to the states, to making the Mustang the best selling sportscar in the world (inb4 the "Mehstang is not a sports car" comments), to moving to a global production architectire, Ford knows what they hell they're doing. Yea you'll get the "Boo hoo Ford sucks" crowd chiming in, but in reality they are smoking everyone else domestically when it comes to design and sales. I'm not even a Ford fan boy, those are just cold hard facts. Personally, if I had a spare $50,000 lying around, I'd make it rain on a used GT350R faster than you could say Cars & Coffee.
However, somtimes even the best do something that is particularly head scratching. Take this new patent by Ford for example. Below is a picture of what they just put in for.
That, my friends, is a retractable table for autonomous cars, complete with air bags. What in the actual fuck? According to Ford this patent, "may include amenities that allow occupants to face each other during operation of the vehicle." Unless we're living in a Jetson's world, I don't think this will ever come to fruition. Many patents never see the light of day, but this one may take the cake as the strangest I've ever seen.
The table with airbags is pretty easy to understand, though. Occupants face each other, the table extends from the floor to be used as a...uh...er...table, and in the event of a crash the airbags would deploy from the table saving the occupants from an untimely face-smashing death. Hopefully this table won't be made by Takata.
Trying to predict the future is a tough game, especially when it comes to autonomous cars which currently can be fooled by putting pieces of tape on a stop sign. No one knows where we'll go in the next 5, 10, or 20 years, but Ford seems to be thinking about the future without drivers. However disturbing that may be, at least they're trying to do something to protect us.