Patent showing integrated bike rack from FordEnlarge Photo
Ford may be interested in creating a solution for cyclists everywhere: a fully integrated bicycle rack.
Although aftermarket bike racks are plentiful, Ford's attempt is a lot sleeker.
Instead of constantly hanging out, the bike rack depicted in this patent drawing shows a hitch-mounted system of sorts. From what can be identified, the rack is completely integrated into the vehicle as well, which means when it's not in use it simply slides back into the body of the car. In fact, the patent drawing, posted to Free Patents Online, depicts a Mustang, which could indicate the versatility of such a system. Not to mention, a built-in rack would keep thieves at bay.
As consumers begin to use their cars not just for transportation, but as a part of their lifestyle, factory accessories have become an important component to automakers. It also helps keep money that may be spent on aftermarket components in-house. If a customer opts for a Ford-installed bike rack, it can save quite a few headaches and a lot of time researching for a roof-mounted, hitch, or any variation of a bike rack.
We'd say the potential for an integrated bike rack probably has a better chance at reaching production than Ford's odd steering-wheel-mounted gear selector.