In March of this year, Ford was revealed to have applied for a patent for removable doors. Although there was no mention which model will be getting the patent, sketches at the time of filing show a vehicle that looks like the old-generation Ford Bronco that was discontinued in 1996.
This started rumors that the automaker might be reviving the old Bronco and giving it removable doors. And considering that Ford is planning to launch it as the Jeep Wrangler’s competition, there is reason to believe the rumor.
But aside from the patent for removable doors, it appears that Ford filed another patent application, this time for “an inflatable device that transitions between a less expanded position and a more
expanded position,” which translates to airbag. More specifically, a type of airbag mounted in bars or a cage where a door is supposedly located.
The new patent application suggests that Ford is looking to equip its next-generation vehicle with side airbags, thereby still being able to provide protection for passengers in the absence of doors.
Ford’s patent application is reportedly at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. But rather than pooling all resources into the development of side airbags, the company is also believed to be exploring the possibility of offering the airbags with a tubular-style door or enclosed in a device programmed to deploy inside the vehicle when doors are removed.
But considering that automakers are constantly filing patents that don’t always materialize, it is still too early to tell if Ford really is pursuing the idea. The all-new Bronco is expected to be released sometime in 2021, so there’s still plenty of time for Ford to work on future technology.