Ford has recently been actively pursuing patents related to truck innovations, and one particular patent stands out: a tonneau cover modeled after the design of the Tesla Cybertruck. Although the patent was recently published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the application was filed over six months ago.
While some may argue that this is another instance of mainstream automakers emulating Tesla, the design’s aerodynamic efficiency has always been paramount. However, the resemblance to the Cybertruck is undeniable. What distinguishes Ford’s design?
Ford’s tonneau cover not only mimics the Cybertruck’s sleek profile but also addresses practical concerns.
Unlike other vehicle designs that do not easily accommodate such angular covers, Ford’s innovation retracts both the cover and its rail supports, offering a streamlined appearance when stowed.
The supports feature fins to enhance both aerodynamics and aesthetics when deployed.
Furthermore, Ford’s design incorporates an access window for convenient cargo storage and transportation of taller items. The independent tailgate operation adds to the practicality. However, the standout feature is its adaptability: it can function as either a flat or angled cover.
Moreover, it includes an automatic deployment system triggered by speed thresholds, where the cover’s orientation adjusts accordingly for optimal aerodynamics. Compressible seals ensure protection against water and dirt intrusion, maintaining a secure lock in both configurations.
With Ford’s access to a wind tunnel and collaboration with the Red Bull F1 team, further aerodynamic enhancements are anticipated. The potential efficiencies resulting from these partnerships are eagerly awaited for their debut in production models.