The patent details a new version of the familiar puddle light - a simple technology which, as the name suggests, casts light on the ground near a vehicle’s doors to save passengers from stepping into a puddle or worse before entering the cabin.
In the case of Ford’s new patent application, the light would also display an electric vehicle’s charge levels, offering an at-a-glance view of the battery pack’s status before you’ve even entered the car.
Other details, such as the predicted driving range available on the current charge level, could also be displayed.
Although a novel idea, there’s little in the way of groundbreaking thinking with the new patent, since a number of carmakers have already revealed mobile phone apps and display-equipped key fobs that can offer the same information without having to be within viewing distance of the puddle light.
But, with Ford having opened its electric vehicle patent library to all-comers in May, there could be some interest in the new puddle light concept.