Hide Your Stash (or Chill Your Beer) With This Handy Ford Patent
Cargo covers only hide so much. And at the end of the day, your SUV’s cargo area is merely a receptacle for refuse — you can’t tote the contents around outside the vehicle without a stolen shopping cart.
If a patent application filed by Ford Motor Company bears fruit, your cargo hold will have everything you need for tailgate parties, camping trips, and, just maybe, a long wait at the border.
The application filed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office illustrates a “storage bin system” located along the sides of a vehicle’s rear cargo hold. Ford calls it a “cargo compartment side-wall,” which houses removeable containers accessed through small rear doors, thus providing a secure, out-of-sight area to carry small, loose objects.
Not only that, the patent filing reveals the individual cargo boxes housed in separate sides of the vehicle can latch together once removed. Each has a carry handle and even small luggage-type wheels. With the storage bins latched together (via overlapping handles), the system’s utility increases. The automaker included a small dock for an electronic device on the topside of the bins, ensuring tunes for that inevitable picnic for parking lot party. (The area around the docking location is shaped to amplify the music.)
But what could you put in those storage bins? Well, valuable electronics and pistols are one possibility, but Ford’s patent images suggest a tastier option.
It’s possible owners might also choose wholesome artisanal soda (or “pop,” for you Canadians), or perhaps a multitude of juice boxes. Whatever the chilled liquid, the locking bins allows owners to carry a bevy of beverages and a stack of sandwiches around without having to deal with a loose ice chest and smushable cooler bag.
A variety of bin configurations (and capabilities) exist in the filing, as Ford apparently believes different buyers will have different needs. The sky’s the limit when it comes to these bins.
Whether we’ll see this system become available on a new Ford vehicle — a large, Expedition-sized vehicle, going by the drawings — remains a mystery. If it does, expect it to appear as optional equipment. While convenient, the system’s bulkiness means less cargo volume and a significantly narrower cargo floor.
[Images: Ford, via U.S. Patent and Trademark Office]
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