The Rivian R1T electric truck already boasts underbed storage and a clever tunnel aft of the cab, but the automaker is looking at another storage option for future trucks.

As described in a patent application published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Dec. 21, 2023 (and originally filed on Jun. 21, 2022), this new storage option takes the form of a drop-down tray that would be located underneath the bed floor and behind the rear wheels.

This storage tray could be configured in a number of ways, according to the application. It could slide out horizontally, swing down, or rotate for access. An extension could also be built in that would slide out past the rear bumper, Rivian suggests. The bumper could also be divided into two sections, with one section lowering out of the way when the tray is being deployed.

As Rivian notes in the application, this setup puts the storage tray in roughly the same area as the spare wheel. The automaker's solution is to mount the spare on a separate platform that can pivot out of the way of the storage tray.

Rivian underbed drop-down storage tray

Rivian underbed drop-down storage tray

Such a setup would be very different from the underbed storage currently offered in the R1T. In that truck, a section of the bed floor lifts up to reveal a storage compartment, similar to what is currently found in the Honda Ridgeline pickup. This version seems to take up a similar amount of space in a similar area of the truck, but with more complexity.

It's admittedly difficult to predict production plans from patent filings, as some of these ideas never make it to production vehicles.

Rivian has also been experimenting with different storage ideas lately. Other recent patent applications from the automaker include a Ram Box-like bed storage system for pickups and spare wheel storage containers for SUVs.