New patent filings show how the Blue Oval is one-upping Tesla when it comes to keeping animals safe.
Ford has filed a patent for a new "Pet Mode" feature that will ensure the wellbeing of our furry friends much like Tesla's Dog Mode currently does. The filing doesn't go in-depth on details but it alludes to the adaptation of various vehicle systems that adjust at the press of a button on the key fob or smartphone app. There's no indication as to what car this will be applied to but it'll likely be reserved for upcoming EV products, not excluding the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
The focus of the feature is to create a comfortable environment for your pet when the car is parked. The patent states that once the button is pushed, the car's control management system will employ one or more of the windows to lower, the sunroof to open, or the rear hatch to pivot open so that airflow into the cabin is improved. It may also have the ability to fold one of the rear seats down to open more space.
Ford explains in the patent that arranging your car's interior to suit your pet's needs can be a lengthy and cumbersome task as you have to adjust each setting individually. During this process, it is possible that your pet can become impatient and create additional stress while sorting out the windows and climate controls.
The patent adds that in addition to the opening of the windows, sunroof, tailgate, and reclining of the rear seats, the climate control will adjust the temperature in a section of the car to a level that is suitable for your pet. It will also employ the entertainment system to play audio and video content which will be based on whatever the owner has made available.
For the sake of safety, Pet Mode will activate the child locks on the doors and locks on the windows to prevent smarter animals that know how to manage these controls from escaping the confinements of the car. There is the possibility that some owners may press the pet mode button on the fob by accident, which is why Ford has opted for the double-tap verification process for activation and deactivation.
The patent reveals that the mode will also be customizable via the infotainment screen or mobile app. Here, owners will be able to preset which windows will be opened and by how much, what music will be played, and what temperature the climate control will set to. The trunk and rear bench adjustment will only be limited to cars with a rear hatch, as Ford argues its two- and four-door cars do not have easy access routes to the trunk for pets.
Ford adds that there is the possibility that Pet Mode may be accidentally activated when there is no pet inside the car. To prevent this, it will make use of some sensors in the cabin that will determine the presence of an animal. If nothing is detected, the system will have the capability to revert the interior to its standard state or alert the driver that there is no pet present in the car via the key fob, app, or vehicle display.
These sensors will be placed around the interior behind the front set of seats. Ford also has the idea of using RFID technology via a tag attached to the collar of the pet. Using a laser beam and light sensor, the communication system will be able to determine if the pet is still present in the vehicle. Other possibilities include the implementation of infrared technology or a weight scale to detect the presence of an animal.
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