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Ford patents pets for cars

Drivers often bring their pets with them on a trip, and Ford may have a way to keep them safer. The company recently applied patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) regarding the pet restriction system.

The app notes that pets are transported in cages, which still allows them considerable freedom of movement within the vehicle’s cabin. That can keep animals happy, but it’s not ideal during a crash, or even when traffic becomes unstable. That’s why passengers wear seat belts.

Patent image of Ford's pet restraint system

Patent image of Ford’s pet restraint system

In fact, the restraint system described in the patent application is a bit like a combination of a seat belt and a leash. One or more straps attach to the pet’s collar and ISOFIX anchor points are commonly used for child seats.

These straps are connected to a retractor, which can pull in the seat belt inertia as needed, according to the application. They are controlled by steering and accelerometer sensors to sense conditions that could lead to pets being thrown around the cabin or determine if a collision has occurred.

Patent image of Ford's pet restraint system

Patent image of Ford’s pet restraint system

Other sensors can monitor the vehicle’s position on a designated route and adjust restriction points based on expected road conditions. Ford also fitted a camera to monitor pet passengers.

As with other patent applications, it remains unclear whether the pet restriction system will actually go into production. Ford in particular has a habit of discarding patent applications for New feature rapid succession. But such a system can be a good complement to software-based systems like Tesla’s Dog Modeor Toyota cabin perception technology, which is currently being tested as a way to prevent children or pets from being left in cars.

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