News/ Industry/ Ford Takes On EV Truck Makers with Deployable Roof Racks!

Ford Takes On EV Truck Makers with Deployable Roof Racks!

Ford has unveiled a groundbreaking innovation-an electrically powered deployable roof rack system. This cutting-edge technology, unlike Rivian's similar patents, operates without any power connections. Designed specifically for Ford pickup truck EVs, this system allows the roof rails to be lowered at high speeds, enhancing vehicle aerodynamics and significantly extending its range. 

How can they use it?

So, what exactly is this technology? It's an actuator-based system that can deploy the roof rails at the driver's discretion. Ford had previously showcased designs of a powered roof rack in a patent, but this time, it's tailored for a specific use case. The system is also completely removable, making it incredibly versatile and convenient for use in all supporting vehicles at the factory. This means it can be easily added or removed from a vehicle, and can accommodate a range of accessories such as a heater pad, light bars, and self-driving sensors. 

The self-driving sensor idea is quite interesting as it can allow the other cars on the road to see that this car is driving on itself or is being driven by a driver. There can also be sensors applied to the roof racks, with indicators of red, yellow, and green color used to show whether the vehicle has reached its load limit and is near or far from it. These lights can be in different corners to see if the load is balanced. 

Other Truck Patents 

In the previous year, Ford was quite busy with its patent department, which has a lot of off-road accessories and truck attachments. These include roofs with integrated lighting. A system that enables off-road drivers to help it stand when navigating a tricky trail, and also a bolt-on third axle. They have also designed multiple ways of making truck beds and tailgates that are now under development. We don't know yet if any of these systems will be viable for production. One part that is clear is that Ford is adamant about finding new ways to improve its trucks and SUVs. 

Do you think these patents will help Ford stand out in the truck EV market against competitors like Rivian?

TopGear Magazine July 2024