Ford Patents Self-Driving Car with Lounge Seating

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Ford is looking well ahead to the future, where passengers in self-driving cars can simply relax while heading to their destination.

The American automaker has filed a patent for an “autonomous car with reconfigurable seats” that allows the front seats to do a 180-degree flip so that the front passengers can sit face-to-face with the rear passengers. The patent was filed by Mark Cuddihy, Manoharprasad Rao and Jialiang Le, featuring a vehicle that can fully operate without any input from a driver. While self-driving cars aren’t anything new, the idea of configurable seats presents an interesting concept where the passenger cabin can transform itself into a lounge.

SEE ALSO: Ford Applies for ‘Luminescent Vehicle Molding’ Patent

The patent filing details a number of configurations, with one rotating the front seats 180 degrees to face backwards, a layout that would be ideal for business meetings and family gatherings. Another layout shows the front seats folding into the footwells, creating an ottoman that the rear-seat passengers can use to rest their feet. Perhaps the most impressive part to the patent filing is that the seats can be reconfigured while the self-driving car is in motion.

Of course, not all patents become reality, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a self-driving car with similar seating technology available in 10 years or so.

YouTube user PatentYogi created a video that you can watch below, illustrating the possibilities from Ford’s recent patent filing.

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[Video Source: PatentYogi YouTube]

Discuss this story at our Ford Forum

  • Mike

    I’d like a seat that allows the passengers to sleep on a lengthy excursion.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    I second this motion.

  • Jurica Mandić

    What happens to driver’s/co-driver’s legs while the front seats are rotating?
    I bet this car is for yoga practitioners only.