Diagram from Ford patent for heat-generated graphicsEnlarge Photo
One of the fashionable yet totally unnecessary trends in the automotive world is the use of logo-displaying puddle lamps. You open the door of your car at night, and there's a bright shining beacon letting you know exactly what you've just stepped out of or about to step into.
It's a gimmick for the most part, yet it's occasionally done in a way that works for a given vehicle. It makes sense on something like a high-dollar Range Rover, whereas it would be quite out of place on, say, a Kia Rio. Now it seems Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] is looking to take unnecessary graphical displays to a hot new level.
AutoGuide has picked up on a new patent that Ford is looking to grab, which shows something called heat-transmission graphics. You would have a graphic hidden on a given body panel on the car, and as the panel heats up the graphic would then appear. The most obvious choice for such a display is the engine's hood. As your Mustang warms up, your prancing pony comes to life just like your ride.
Yes, it's silly. But we might end up seeing it on cars in the future, if this patent holds true and people actually desire it. It falls into the same category as the puddle lamps, yet those lamps at least could theoretically show you an actual puddle that you can avoid. This hood graphic? It's just going to tell you what you already know; yes, you're driving a Mustang.
Now focus on the road and maybe ease off that throttle pedal when you leave the next Cars and Coffee event, alright?