Ford has revealed patent drawings envisioning an autonomous-capable vehicle with removable driver controls – such as the steering wheel, instruments and pedals.
The images allow for safety equipment like airbags to operate with or without the driver’s controls in place, using sensors to detect whether these components are installed – therefore firing the appropriate airbags in either the steering wheel or dashboard.
However, it’s unclear whether the removable parts have dedicated stowage when disconnected, though there are openings for the connections required by the steering wheel and pedals in some of the filings.
It remains to be seen if the Blue Oval will showcase this design in a concept vehicle in the near future, but it shows again that manufacturers are exploring different interior layouts with the impending rollout of driverless cars.
For now, we’ll have to wait and see.
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