That’s one of the reasons why Dog Mode is popular. It helped Tesla owners take care of their pets when they’re left in the car for longer periods, besides letting others know the A/C is on. Ford’s Pet Mode will do the same while providing some more useful features. But reminding someone or something is sitting in your car while you’re getting ready to leave is another system entirely.
Ford’s idea to avoid the tragedies mentioned above comprises cameras and/or sensors that check the back seat for occupancy. If it detects something, the driver will be alerted with an image prompting on the infotainment screen, a sound that can’t be ignored, and a warning light on the dashboard. It’s also possible to get a push notification on your phone in some well-equipped Ford cars or trucks.
One version of the patented system works with the help of pressure sensors. They detect weight, even if it’s not that of a normal adult. If the car is a more expensive model, then it’ll also have cameras for further confirmation. Ford’s also thinking about using motion sensors, but that might not happen because of extra production costs, which, to be entirely honest, aren’t needed here.
The system will always turn on in new Ford cars and trucks just before the driver is getting ready to exit the vehicle. Switching off the engine, putting the vehicle in Park mode, and opening the door to leave without looking in the back will prompt the checks and, if needed, the alerts.
It’s not yet clear which new cars will get this system and if it will be available as an over-the-air software update, but you can find out specifics about it in the USPTO filing attached down below. All in all, it’s a great move from the Michigan-based manufacturer. You just have to remember that a patent isn’t a guarantee of production. It most likely will happen, but nobody knows exactly when or on what vehicle.