Ford Wants You to Drive a Bronco Off-Road While Standing Up

Ford never ceases to surprise and shock us with various patent filings. You know how you can steer a pleasure boat while standing up? Now, imagine the same thing with an SUV off the road.

There’s an idea that could go wrong in many ways.

In the patent drawings uncovered by CarBuzz, we can see a driver standing up in a Bronco with the roof panels removed. Separate electronic controls built into the windshield frame or door frame could enable drivers to move the vehicle without using the pedals and possibly the steering wheel, too.

Photo: Ford

Ford has envisioned a driver detection system (with cameras, LiDAR or promixity sensors) that can determine whether the driver is sitting in their seat or standing up. In the latter case, several vehicle functions would automatically be turned off and various safety measures would kick in, for example to prevent jerky manœuvres and falling off the vehicle.

A speed limiter would also spring into action, obviously. Ford mentions a baseline of 3 mph (5 km/h), meaning this could be merely for super-slow crawling in technical sections—kind of like a new drive mode that would be added to the existing seven-mode G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any type of Terrain) system.

Photo: Ford Canada

We get it. Driving off-road can be pretty challenging at times due to reduced visibility. That’s why many drivers don’t hesitate to lean out the window (or out the vehicle if the driver’s door has previously been removed) to have a better look at where they’re going and the obstacles they’re about to clear.

However, last time we checked, the Bronco does have a front-facing camera that can prove extremely useful in these situations. Also, any smart off-road enthusiast knows you should never go off-road alone and always use a spotter to guide you for tricky manoeuvres.

What do you think?

Watch: Ford Bronco Goes Off-Road

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