It’s all about keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to automotive innovation, and the latest example of that is a new patent from Ford.
The company is following in Tesla’s foot – er, paw-steps – and patenting its very own Pet Mode, similar to Tesla’s Dog Mode.
There’s one big difference between the two. Ford’s Pet Mode would be activated by a dedicated button on a keyfob or app. The symbol – as you may have guessed – is a paw print.
The patent describes how after pressing the dedicated button, a signal is sent to the car’s computer which will activate certain functions to “create a comfortable environment for a pet within the vehicle.”
The patent was initially spotted by the Lightning Owners forum.
Pet Mode looks like it will end up being fairly customizable. Some examples of functions listed in the patent are “one or more windows to lower, the sunroof to open the trunk lift gate to pivot open, and the seat backs of one or more rows of seats to tilt or fold down.”
It will also give owners control over the cabin temperature through the climate control as well as the radio so your pet can listen to as much Mötley Crüe (Pam & Tommy is so good) as they want. But don’t fret about them opening a window or door by accident, as Pet Mode will disable those functions.
The patent even talks about a possible “hydration system” that would make sure fresh, cool water is available to the pet at all times.
An interesting tidbit about all of this – the patent may have been issued yesterday, but it was originally filed on October 25, 2018. That is exactly one week after Elon Musk said “Yes” to a Tesla owner who tweeted at him asking to add a dog mode feature.
I mean it may have been a coincidence, but it’s a mighty strange one. It’s hard to say exactly when Ford engineers started working on the idea themselves. Tesla launched Dog Mode just a few months later in February 2019.