Although The Driveis happy to hear Ford has applied for a patent involving a “powered sliding platform” in the bed on its upcoming Ford F-150 Hybrid, this storage practice is far from new. Sliding drawers are most notably used by Odyssey Specialty Vehicles for their emergency services conversions and similar practices are used by First Priority and Proliner Rescue.
In order to easily access cargo from the bed, Ford plans to utilize an electric sliding tray that will bring the contents of the bed out behind the vehicle. Fire, police and EMS personnel have been using similar devices (but with cabinetry on top of it) for years and have found slideouts to be very helpful during emergencies and operations.
A flat tray, like the one proposed by Ford would not only be useful for storage, but could also double as a work table for owners who use their truck as a work vehicle. According to the patent, the tray would slide out by the push of a button and would stop if it noticed something was obstructing its path. Power for platform operation would come from the electric motor utilized in the hybrid powertrain.
This isnt the first time that Ford as incorporated helpful tools into their trucks to assist owners on the job site. Ford now offers Ford Telematics for owners to track vehicle operations and they also offer handy features like lift gate steps and a rear camera with trailer assist.
We will be interested to see if the sliding tray or Powered Sliding Platform makes it into production, but if it doesnt, there are plenty of ways to get one aftermarket.