Ford Patents Functional Puddle Light That Shows Useful Car Status Updates

Ford is looking to create a puddle light that is actually functional and useful to its drivers.

Typically reserved for high-end luxury cars, puddle lights are used to illuminate the car’s underbody so that drivers and passengers can see if they’re about to step into a puddle or something worse when entering the vehicle. The lights often project the automaker’s logo onto the ground for some extra pizzaz. But Ford is looking at better uses for the ambient lighting technology by creating puddle lights that display vehicle status messages. One use would be on its EVs to show the remaining battery charge when the driver unlocks the vehicle.

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The patent also shows that the American automaker is looking for other places that a puddle light could project the information, such as a wall or ceiling if the light is positioned at an upward angle. Ford noted in the patent application that the preferred integration would be in a side mirror or door handle to create a better distance for the projected information. Additionally, the company is including a function that would allow the driver to switch off the status light for a traditional pure light function.

Other data that the puddle light could display include predicted range based on driving style and distance traveled, battery temperature and more. Also, the puddle light projection could be customized to show a percentage display or clock-like illumination as well as appear in color or have the information flash.

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