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Ford patent application turns the steering wheel into a laptop mount

Nowhere is safe from the demands of work.

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Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
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The easiest way to avoid working in your car? Just don't. Find a balance, "forget" your laptop at home, unionize, whatever it takes.

USPTO

Trying to open a laptop in a car is about as easy as opening a laptop in one of those reduced-size economy class airplane seats, but thinks it can fix that.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published Ford's patent application for a foldable steering wheel. The system itself is pretty straightforward -- the steering wheel has hinges that can transform it into a surface suitable for holding a laptop. Nothing too complex here.

While you might think it's designed with autonomy in mind, since the steering wheel may not always be required, the application focuses more on the short-term. The application mentions people who may want to get some work done in their car if they arrive at a meeting a bit early. Folding the steering wheel into a laptop mount is easier than what I usually do, which involves moving to the backseat and pushing the front row as forward as possible.

AutoGuide, which originally discovered the patent application, points out that it's unlikely to be a production feature because inherent safety risks are just too high. That said, automakers regularly apply for patents on technology if only to prevent competitors from doing the same thing, which is likely what this is.

Nevertheless, it's fun to see just how many different ways automakers can shame us all into getting just a little more work done during the day. Just wait until everyone follows in BMW's footsteps of adding Microsoft Outlook integration into the dashboard. Ugh.

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor's suspension adapts on the fly

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