Ford files patent for replaceable SUV fenders with built-in steps and storage
Ford has filed a patent for replaceable SUV fenders with integrated storage and steps, as per a document published on United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month. The filing shows a replaceable front fender that comes with utility features along with a grab handle and also emits light.
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As per the filing, Ford says that the integrated steps could be used by vehicle owners to access cargo placed on the roof of the vehicle or to watch a sporting event. The Ford Bronco SUV already features removable fenders and it makes sense for the company to offer customers something to replace them with. However, it is still not confirmed if the patent will turn into a real product.
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While removable fenders are useful in protecting vehicles' paint from damage or to get through narrower lanes, the patented useable fender replacement will surely garner demand if and when it becomes a real product.
In recent months, Ford has also filed patents for other off-road-oriented accessories such as a retractable exhaust tip that could help protect it while off-roading. The automaker also filed a patent for an autonomous deployable drone that could scan off-road terrain and appeal to off-road enthusiasts.
The company also plans to expand its lineup of Bronco accessories eventually as it figures out more about the needs of the customers. The SUV is one of the automaker's most popular product and it recently won the the title of the North American Utility of the year. The Bronco SUV competed with other vehicles such as Genesis GV70 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric SUV.
The vehicle won the titles out of a dozen of candidates given that they must be new or substantially changed for the current model year. They were judged by fifty automotive journalists from the US and Canada who evaluated the finalists on value, innovation, design, performance, safety, technology and driver satisfaction.