Ford patents modular autonomous vehicles

Published: August 18, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Cars are becoming increasingly self-reliant. Even the everyday point A to B run about now comes with autonomous features such as parking sensors and device connectivity. We are moving towards the age of the autonomous vehicle, where cars will one day be able to operate completely on their own. When that happens, Ford believes drivers will becoming obsolete and passengers will have no need for steering wheels or pedals.

A new patent from the US-based automotive giant shows a vehicle that will have removeable interior parts. Specifically, owners will be able to remove the steering wheel and pedals when they want.

It is worth noting we are a long way from a vehicle being fully autonomous and operational on the road. Companies like Google would tell us different and want to remove the steering when now. However, the fact is we are moving fast towards fully autonomy, but there is much to test and learn first.

Indeed, general predictions point towards a fully self-driving vehicle by 2025 or possibly later. When that happens, it is expected cars will be safe, collisions and fatalities on the roads will decline drastically, and the driver will become a thing of the past.

There is a problem with this plan. People like to drive. They like the experience, the control, and the feeling. Taking driving away from people will not be easy. Ford may have a solution, giving customers the ability to drive when they want (by attaching the steering wheel and pedals), or go autonomous when needed.

The company is not necessarily painting its patent for this purpose, instead saying the modular concept is for development purposes. Although, the company does acknowledge it will make a good “customer-requested option.”