Ford wants to make sure our four-legged friends are as comfortable in its cars as people. It patented a feature it calls “Pet Mode” which, if launched, would give users of compatible cars access to some clever pet-friendly features at the touch of a button.
Spotted by forum Lightning Owners, the patent was filed by Ford Global Technologies in October 2018 and published in February 2022. It describes a technology that is relatively simple: pressing a button on the key fob keeps the temperature in the cabin under control. by lowering one or more windows, opening the sunroof, or both. It can also turn on and adjust the climate control system if opening a window is not enough. Don’t worry about your furry friend escaping while you’re getting a latte: Pet Mode disables the window switches and door handles.
Ford apparently takes your dog’s comfort very seriously. Some of the other remote-based features described in the patent application include the ability to remotely open a door to let your dog in and out of the car and a feature that folds down one or more seats to give him more space. . Owners can even select the type of music they want the radio to play when Pet Mode is on. It’s not unreasonable to assume that a smartphone app or a menu in the infotainment system would be linked to Pet Mode to let owners decide which windows to open, for example, especially as Ford notes that the feature can be easily activated with devices such as a smartphone or a smartwatch.
A car water fountain may be just around the corner, as the patent points out that “a drinking system” can ensure fresh, cool water is available for the pet at all times. And another interesting detail is that the pet mode could turn itself off if necessary if it detects that the pet is no longer in the car. This would probably require a huge amount of testing to make sure it doesn’t overlook a Chihuahua.
Ford has not commented on the patent application and has not announced plans to put Pet Mode into production, so we don’t know what the future holds for the technology. Keep in mind that a patent application is never a guarantee that the feature it describes will end up in your next car. It’s a cool idea, though, and one that — unlike many patents — would be useful in real-world conditions across the country. In particular, Tesla offers a similar system called Dog Mode. Launched in 2019, just after Ford filed its Pet Mode patent, it primarily keeps the climate control system running while the car is turned off.