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Ford Patents Idea for Building a Movie Projector into SUV Tailgates

The (presumably pricey) system can also double as a floodlight.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Ford now has a patent for a system that would effectively turn the bed of its F-150 pickup truck into a mobile movie theater. But it turns out Ford’s ideas for on-the-go cinemas don’t stop with its pickup trucks. The Drive uncovered a new Ford patent published this week showing its plans for building a movie projector into the tailgate of your next crossover or SUV.

Originally filed back in April 2017, the the patent describes a “liftgate… and a video projector mounted to the liftgate. Further, the video projector is configured to project video in a direction away from the vehicle when the liftgate is in the open position.”

United States Patent and Trademark Office
United States Patent and Trademark Office

In other words, the projector would be mounted to the bottom of the cargo door so that it’s tucked away and pointing straight down when the tailgate is shut. The drawings show the projector in the spot where the latch would normally be, so presumably that’s been relocated. And in addition to playing movies, TV shows, video games, or YouTube videos, the projector can also be used as a floodlight.

United States Patent and Trademark Office

The Drive reached out to Ford to ask if there are plans to really bring this to market. A spokesperson responded via email by saying, “We submit patents on new inventions as a normal course of business but they aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans.” So, stay tuned.

There are some obvious technical challenges Ford would have to overcome to make this a worthwhile option, namely protecting the delicate internals of a high-quality projector housed in a body panel that is constantly being slammed shut. If the company ever does equip its production cars with a built-in movie projector, we just hope it’ll be compatible with our phones, laptops, and game consoles and not confined to a Ford-developed streaming service or something. As the cars of today and tomorrow continue to fill up with screens, screens, and more screens, this is actually one we’d like to see catch on.

Ford Motor Company