Ford is working on a system that makes it easier for back seaters to get in second third row of vehicle. The patent application was filed in UK and details “vehicle 2nd and 3rd row adjustments based on anthropometric characteristics of 2nd and 3rd row rear passenger.” The idea behind the system is to use existing technology to pre-configure the second or third- row seats before passengers gets into the vehicle. For example the car could use an existing blind spot detection system to determine the body size of the passenger before they get into the vehicle, automatically adjusting the seats to accommodate them when the rear door handle is moved. The seat can also be adjusted with the press of the button on a key fob.
The system is capable of accounting for passenger’s shape, including different leg and torso lengths and even foot size. The goal is to make the vehicle as comfortable as possible once the passenger steps in without having the inconvience of manually adjusting the seat. There’s also a passenger occupant detection system or (PODS) or passenger seat weight detection system, likely similar to whats used for airbags to generate a compensated seat position adjustment based on passenger size estimation. So if an object such as grocery bag, purse or brief case is placed in rear seat, a controller could determine that a compensated second row seat position is not required.
“A vehicle includes the blind spot detection system and controller,” says the patent application. “The blind-spot detection system may be configured to output an alert in response to an object being detected alongside the vehicle while in motion, and to output data about expected 3rd row passengers about the entire vehicle. The controller may be configured to deploy a third row seat and move a second row seat to riding position based on anthropometric characteristics of passengers that are derived from the data.”