Ford has indicated that it is fully prepared for large scale adoption of automated cars in the future by filing a patent for a retractable table with airbags. This does not mean that the company is even close to the production of such a table, but it does show that Ford will not be caught napping in this era of electric vehicles and self-driving cars.
With technology assuming the driver’s role in automated vehicles, everyone will be at leisure to assume the seating position of their choice, and to talk with others. The table is meant to help occupants of a fully autonomous vehicle engage with each and face each other while the vehicle is on the move.
In the interests of safety, the table will come with an airbag to protect the occupants of the vehicle in case the autonomous driver goes off course and the vehicle ends up in an accident.
The design depicts a round table that is capable of being fully retracted into the floor to become a flat surface. It can also be extended to the front so that all the passengers, both in the front and rear seats can sit at the table. Airbags are installed in the table’s edge and these will be deployed if and when a collision occurs. They would keep the passengers from colliding with the table and minimize the impact of the accident.
Autonomous cars might appear on the roads only a few years down the line, but like all advancements in motor technology, their development might take a shorter period than expected. In case this happens, Ford is set to be a frontrunner.
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