Forget the wheel, Ford wants to reinvent the cup holder.
The American automaker filed a patent application on September 10, 2015 for a “beverage cup holder convertible to self-venting ash tray,” which was published on March 16, 2017.
Basically, the cup holder body would have a light source and a vent port, while also including an ash cup insert with a vent port interface and an illumination ring. The ash cup insert would fit in the beverage cup holder body with the vent port interface mating with the vent port, and the illumination ring illuminated by the light source.
The idea is to improve the handling of smoke and reduce odors produced by cigarettes, cigars or pipes while smoking in a car with the self-venting ash tray.
There’s also a few different configurations Ford is detailing in the patent application: “In one possible embodiment, the beverage cup holder further includes a vent line extending from the vent port to ambient outside of the motor vehicle equipped with the beverage cup holder. Further, the beverage cup holder body further includes a vent port door displaceable between a home position closing the vent port and an open position opening the vent port. In one possible embodiment, the vent port door slides on a track. In another possible embodiment, the vent port door pivots about a pivot. In either of these embodiments, the vent cup interface includes a feature to engage and open the vent port door when the ash cup is fully nested in the cup holder.”
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