Ford gets patent for car seats that recline as flat as a bed for a quick nap
Ford Motor has got the patent for reclining seats it offers in the F-150 pickup trucks. The exclusive Max Recline Seats promises to offer business-class comfort in F-150.
The seats roll back completely to offer a flat-bed experience for occupants and promises to make for a comfortable nap. The seats fold flat to nearly 180 degrees.
The mechanism lifts the back half of the seat bottom 3.5 inches to make a flat surface to support the lower back. The upper seatback can also be moved forward for neck support. Ford’s all-new seats have been awarded five patents tied to the novel design and assembly process.
"There are no additional motors in these seats – just a simple mechanism that relies on the customer moving the seatback using the power recline function," said Kulhawik. "It's simple, it’s effective, and we believe our customers will love how much more productive they can be just by getting a little more rest during downtime."
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The idea of such a seat came up after a Ford comfort team conducted a research to see how F-150 customers use their vehicle on a regular basis. After hundreds of hours of video and thousands of photos, the team concluded that customers would prefer to have some more creature comfort inside the vehicle.
“We know the folks who work on construction or mining sites use their truck cab for naps during downtime, and we learned everyday owners do, too," said Jackie DiMarco, Ford truck product line director. “When I would take my daughters to hockey tournaments, between games, one would be sleeping in the back seat while the other would be on the floor of my truck, and it reinforced the idea that, ‘We need to fix this!’"
So the Ford team came up with the Max Recline Seats that rollback completely and turn into a flat bed of sorts. Ford thinks these seats will help one who needs a quick nap while parked between drives and work, or a comfortable, dry place to sleep at a campsite or a place to rest over the course of an all-day sports tournament.
To make this new seating system come to life, Ford engineers figured out the best and simplest user experience, then created mockups to quickly develop a proof of concept. They used hot glue, foam core and pins to build up components and attach them to a standard seat frame so they could test multiple concepts. After finding the most promising design, they developed a fully functional metal prototype to refine the motion and comfort of the seat; then production parts were created.