Ford's HUD patent drawings seem to emphasize motorcycle detection

Ford recently filed a patent application for a full-windshield Heads-Up Display system that would allow a driver to both see the road in front of him (or her) and see a graphical interpretation of what the car's ADAS systems are 'seeing'. The Ford application lays out an immediate use for this technology, in an R&D setting. However, Ford also mentions possible uses in future production models.

 Did the engineers at Ford read my Common Tread stories about motorcyclists' CAV anxieties? Are they trying to reassure motorcycle riders by showing us a motorcycle being detected?

Did the engineers at Ford read my Common Tread stories about motorcyclists' CAV anxieties? Are they trying to reassure motorcycle riders by showing us a motorcycle being detected?

Of course, at HAVstory the first thing we noticed had nothing to do with the patent: It was that Ford's schematics illustrate the system's function using a motorcycle as 'principal other vehicle'. It's as if Ford is trying to reassure motorcyclists, telling us, "Don't worry, we're making sure our systems can 'see' motorcycles.

The initial focus of the patent description is narrow: Ford describes using it in R&D situations that currently require one engineer/tester to sit in the driver's seat watching the road while another engineer sits in the passenger seat monitoring CAV systems. Ford imagines that a full-windshield HUD would allow one engineer to do the work of two.

However, serious car guys immediately latched on to the benefit of a such a system in a production context; it would allow drivers to essentially 'check' ADAS/CAV systems in real time and in all likelihood be interesting enough to minimize driver distraction in the dreaded 'Level 3 attention gap'.

The patent was filed by Ford Global Technologies LLC in Dearborn, although all four inventors (Mohamed Ahmad, Harpreetsingh Banvait, Ashley Elizabeth Micks, & Nagraj Rao) are based in Silicon Valley

 "Yup, it sees that motorcycle."

"Yup, it sees that motorcycle."

You can see Ford's patent filing here.