Ford has filed a patent application for a “powered sliding platform assembly.”
Unlike a manually-operated sliding platform, Ford’s patent application is for a platform that is powered by an electric motor, which can also be used to power the vehicle or power tools through an outlet. The idea is that manually-operated sliding platforms could be difficult to operate at times if the platform is heavily loaded or the pickup truck is on an incline or a decline. The powered sliding platform assembly looks to address those issues.
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The platform is mounted to rails in the truck bed while an actuator with a pin would keep it locked in. According to the patent application, it appears a controller would be programmed to operate the actuator to retract the pin, in order to permit movement of the rail as the rail begins to move relative to the track.
There are a few benefits to having a powered sliding platform on a Ford pickup, but how helpful it would be depends on the payload it can handle while extended.
This story first appeared on AutoGuide.com.