The Ford F-150 Lightning could get a passage between Frunk and the cabin

Ford might spend more time innovating on new truck features than any other automaker. Its F-150 Lightning, for example, is not only electric, but also the first pickup with a frunk. Now it looks like he wants to develop this concept even further.

No, I’m not talking about the frunk Ford-designed entertainment center before. It’s a different patent application. This time around, it looks like he wants to put a pass-through tray between the frunk and the truck cabin. That way someone could get something out of the car’s interior without having to open any of the exterior doors.

The usefulness of this is a bit debatable, but it’s an interesting proposition that’s well illustrated in the patent application. The tray would roll on rails and slide between the interior and the trunk. An air conditioning or radio panel would fold down to make room for it, and it would also be lockable with a keypad so those outside the car could access items placed in the tray with a level of security . It would move either using an electric motor or manually.

It is quite strongly implied in the patent literature and accompanying art that this would apply specifically to the F-150 Lightning. It’s not just because of the frunk detailing, but because the storage tray would slide over a bent automatic shifter like the F-150 once did.

I could see this being used for camping and tailgating, for sure. It would be a kind of small storage locker. The patent art shows binoculars in the tray, but I think it would probably make more sense to quickly store valuables like a phone or wallet there if you’re outside the vehicle. Truth be told, I think its applications are a bit limited, but I also don’t do a lot of outdoor activities with my car because it’s not exactly suited for that.

Patent applications like these are not declarations of intent to produce. The Blue Oval might just protect the idea so someone like Ram or General Motors doesn’t run away with it. It’s still interesting. If a frunk shift tray makes its way into a new Ford electric pickup, you’ve heard it here first.

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Robert M. Larson