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Ford Files Patent for SUV Conveyor Belt System

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If you own an SUV, particularly a three-row version, you may have had the experience of having to crawl into the back cargo space to retrieve objects placed deep in the cargo area. Ford has thought of this problem, apparently; the company has patented a conveyor belt system for use in its big SUVs.

The patent drawing is clear on the functioning of the system. It shows a conveyor belt that enable moving objects back and forth within the cargo spaces of larger SUVs, especially of the three-row variety. While at first glance this may seem like an invention in search of a use, keep in mind that for some people it’s not so simple, maybe even impossible, to climb into the back of their vehicle to get that last, deepest row of bags or boxes.

Photo: Ford

This is where Ford’s planned new system would prove its worth… unless it gets mocked of course. It will depend on how consumers react, and when a company dares present something different, that reaction is never a sure thing.

We need only think back to Honda making it possible to shower in its CR-V, thanks to a water hose and a tap integrated into the model. A quick Google search will turn up images of this misbegotten and universally derided concept. 

As for the new Ford patent, it’s called the Third Row Conveyor Load Floor and involves a treadmill integrated into the floor of the cargo area, which can be activated as desired to carry items to the rear opening. In principle, both loading and unloading stuff would be made easier.

The question is whether consumers will be interested in such an option. Manufacturers often develop concepts like this aimed at making their products more user-friendly, but not all of those concepts become reality.

Still, it’s an intriguing idea if you own a Ford Expedition…