Ford wants you to sleep easy in its cars
5 March 2017 - motor1
Ford has registered an unusual but potentially useful patent; it’s invented a neck-saving travel pillow contained in a headrest.
Ford appears to be on a roll of late. First it was news of technology that could not only detect potholes but also share that information with other cars. It’s now been discovered, thanks to a recent patent filing, that the carmaker also wants to save you from the curse of long journeys: sore neck syndrome.
Although it should be said that the focus here is on passenger comfort - it wouldn’t be good to encourage drivers to take a nap when behind the wheel - Ford’s patent describes a compartment in a headrest that can hide a wrap-around neck pillow.
According to the Daily Mail, Ford’s inventors say that the device will allow for “napping and dozing” and “represent a significant advance in passenger comfort”. The detailed drawings of the invention show the headrest splitting in two to reveal the all-important travel pillow.
Explaining the invention in the patent application, Ford’s Eduardo Arturo Aguilar Ruelas said: “Motor vehicle seats are currently equipped with head rests to provide a safety function by limiting whiplash and head and neck injuries in the event of an accident.
“Headrests, however, do not provide the geometry necessary to provide comfortable support to the head and neck of the passenger during napping or dozing. More specifically, the head and neck generally fall to an awkward angle which leaves the passenger with a stiff and sore neck upon awakening instead of fully refreshed for further activities.”
Making the bold claim that the headrest “represents a significant advance in passenger comfort,” Ford added that the invention would allow a car’s passengers to “fall asleep sooner, stay asleep longer and awakened refreshed without any significant neck discomfort.”
Predictably, given this invention is only at the patent stage, there’s no word yet as to when or if it will be a feature on your next Focus or Fusion.