It looks like Ford might have something exciting in store for a possible upcoming Ford F-150 model as two patents from the Blue Oval brand have just unveiled something interesting. While the images don’t show too much detail, they do appear to be for an off-road-focused model.
The first of the patents reveals that the American automaker is planning to make recovery boards that double as functioning parts of the vehicle’s body. These make it perfect for an off-road vehicle that will need this kind of gear in case it gets stuck. Ford describes the patent as a “vehicle design integrated sand ladder.” This sand ladder will be attached to the vehicle by either a clamp or a latch that will be able to hold these items against the body of the vehicle. From what the photos show it also appears that they can also double as running boards for the vehicle.
Aside from the general description of the product, the patent images also show its multiple storage locations as the sand ladders can be used as hood vents, and grille, and can even be attached to the tailgate of the vehicle. These locations make it easier for the driver to get the items when stuck. While the drawings show an F-150 being used as the demo car, these sand ladders could also be used on the Bronco as well.
Next up on the patent image list is the "methods and apparatus to perform a tank turn" which appears to be specifically for the automaker’s off-road-focused electric vehicles. Ford describes it as the driver being able to select on a display whether they want the vehicle to spin clockwise or counterclockwise making it easier for maneuverability.
Depending on what direction the driver wants to turn, the technology would brake the appropriate wheels to make this happen. In conjunction with this, the powertrain of the vehicle will also turn the other wheels in the opposite direction so that the vehicle can start spinning in place.