BMW Designs New Retractable Table

Design / Comments

The latest creation draws inspiration from roller shutter doors, believe it or not.

The automotive world is making huge advances in all sorts of technologies as we transition towards full-scale electrification and autonomous driving, but there are other aspects of the motoring sphere that are continually being reconsidered and reinvented.

We've seen Volkswagen patent a new design for doors while Mercedes has found a new way to control your infotainment. BMW has also been reinventing things that seem perfectly fit for purpose, most recently finding a new way of addressing in-car storage with a concept used in a kids' toy. Now the Bavarian automaker has found another way of changing storage solutions with a retractable table that doubles as a map pocket.

CarBuzz

Patent filings uncovered by CarrBuzz reveal diagrams of an E9X BMW 3 Series showcasing a new sort of map pocket where the netting is replaced by a foldable surface that can extend from the base of its rails, up and outwards. This would allow the rear passenger to easily stow and retrieve a folding table that could extend as far forward or backward as you would like.

The flexible design is similar to that seen on old filing cabinets, credenzas, and roller shutter doors, but it is not without its drawbacks. For one thing, the rollers would surely be difficult to keep clean and would likely scratch or otherwise damage any items that you may have stored in the pocket before "closing" the table.

USPTO
USPTO
USPTO
USPTO
The First Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Was Absolute Carnage
The First Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Was Absolute Carnage
All The Cool Trucks We Hope To See In 2022
All The Cool Trucks We Hope To See In 2022

On the plus side, this could also be used in a rear-seat center console, with its shape allowing one to rest media devices like a tablet or smartphone against it for a mini cinema. Still, we haven't come across anyone who felt that their seatback map pockets needed to be tables, nor have we ever heard someone say that their rear-seat tables were in need of more storage capacity.

This seems like another of those unusual inventions patented simply for the sake of protecting an obscure idea. However, we'd love to see this get further developed into something truly practical. Watch this space.

USPTO
2019-2022 BMW 3 Series Sedan Rear Passenger Seats BMW
2019-2022 BMW 3 Series Sedan Rear Angle View BMW
2019-2022 BMW 3 Series Sedan Front Angle View BMW

Join The Discussion

Gallery

9
Photos
Back
To Top