It appears that Ford is planning to release their own version of an autonomous vehicle with configurable seats after Automotive News recently reported that the automaker just received a U.S. patent for the said automobile.
Originally filed back in November 2014, Ford stated that future self-driving cars will only require passengers to set their destination which will allow them to mingle, converse or work while on the move.
Based on the patent document, the front seats can swivel and fold while the car is moving. The steering wheel can also retract into the dashboard when in self-driving mode, freeing up more space for passengers.
A nifty feature on the configurable seats is the living room function where the front seats can rotate 180 degrees, allowing the front passengers to face the rear occupants. The car can also become a makeshift recliner as the front seats can fold and serve as footrests for the rear passengers.
This is the company's latest step in reinventing a car's interior for autonomous driving.
Ford's autonomous vehicle with configurable seating somehow shares some similarity with Mercedes-Benz's F 015 Luxury Motion Concept vehicle which also feature self-driving technology and four individual seats that can face each other in a lounge-like setting.
There is no reported date yet on when will Ford introduce the autonomous vehicle with the configurable seating layout.
Source: Automotive News