Ford has filed a patent for its “Pet Mode,” a spinoff of Tesla’s revolutionary “Dog Mode” feature that created a safe interior vehicle environment for animals when a human is not present.
Made public earlier this week, US Patent 11,247,693 describes Ford plans to utilize a key fob to activate “Pet Mode” through a series of other modes that can be activated from the touch of a button. Ford plans to utilize some of the same strategies as Tesla did, especially as it listed Tesla’s 2018 Model X Owner’s Manual as a reference during the development of its new feature.
“A key fob includes selectors for performing conventional remote operations (e.g., locking/unlocking doors) as well as a “pet mode” selector,” Ford said in its filing. “When the pet mode selector is pressed by a user, a coded wireless signal is sent to a vehicle computer. The vehicle computer is operatively connected to multiple vehicle systems that each controls various features of the vehicle. Responsive to receipt of the coded wireless signal, the vehicle computer instructs a selected group of the systems to operate in a specified manner so as to create a comfortable environment for a pet within the vehicle. For example, in pet mode, the vehicle computer may cause 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.”
The patent was initially noticed by members of the F-150 Lightning Owners Forum.
The claims in Ford’s patent seem to differentiate from Tesla’s. Tesla’s “Dog Mode” simply allows owners to leave pets in the vehicle by controlling the climate to an adjustable temperature. To avoid confusion, a Tesla’s center touchscreen displays a message that the owner will be back soon, and the cabin is adjusted to an appropriate temperature to keep the pets safe.
Ford’s system may operate in that way. Still, it also details the potential of windows being moved from a closed to open position, tilting seats for some of the more “mobile” animals that some owners may be driving around, and a moon roof opening for additional airflow. Ford says it wants to make vehicle parameters adjustable in more than one way, including “adjusting an audio level, adjusting an audio selection, adjusting a temperature level in at least a portion of the automotive vehicle, and adjusting a ventilation level in at least a portion of the automotive vehicle.”
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