Ford patented a car seat with legs and it's sort of scary

What it can do isn't scary, it's how it'll look doing it.

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
2 min read

Automakers regularly patent technologies that may never see the light of day. Part of me is hoping Ford 's newly granted patent will stay locked away in a vault forever.

Ford was recently granted a patent for a mobility solution that, in essence, is little more than a modern car seat with robotic legs attached. It would be used to help drivers who require mobility assistance outside the vehicle -- instead of relying on a wheelchair stored in the car, the car seat could double as a mobility device outside the car.

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Imagining this hobbling toward me all awkward-like is giving me the heebie-jeebies.


During standard vehicle operation, the legs would be able to fold away, and the seat would be secured in the vehicle like it normally is. Ford said the legs could operate using either electric motors or hydraulics

The nightmares begin once the seat needs to leave the vehicle. The chair could leave the vehicle one of two ways -- either the legs could extend and the chair could step out of the vehicle on its own, or the chair could slide sideways out of the vehicle, with the legs deploying as it moves.

Keeping the seat from toppling over would seem difficult, thanks to all that weight creating a rather high center of gravity. Even with a bunch of sensors acting as a gyroscope, as Ford suggests in the patent, I still can't imagine it operating much better than some of Boston Dynamics' creepy robots.

All half-hearted mockery aside, this could be a great thing for disabled drivers. Having one seat act as both wheelchair and car seat reduces complications for people who need it most. Just don't sell the car without having a regular wheelchair sitting around for backup -- I doubt someone would want to buy a car without a driver's seat.

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