Ford loves making all sorts of gizmos for its work vehicles. Whether it's ever more complex pickup tailgates or seats that fold flat in the F-150, the Blue Oval wants to make it easier for you to get stuff done or relax in your car. That's the idea behind the steering wheel in the latest E-Transit Custom. The wheel itself pivots up almost horizontally, and a round plastic cover turns it into a small instant desk. As far as we know, this is the first time a car company has made something like this.
In the interest of transparency, this feature actually debuted when the new E-Transit Custom was revealed in 2022, but it's making the rounds on social media again and it's worth highlighting. In order to tilt the steering wheel, the driver activates a latch on the back side of the rim. The wheel can then be tilted up, and the desk surface is secured with a latch on the front side of the wheel. When not in use, the plastic desktop stows between the front seats.
The desk is available on Transit Custom vans in Europe as a part of the "Mobile Office" option pack. Ford says it makes paperwork, electronics use, and lunch much easier behind the wheel. All while stationary, of course.
It's unclear if this feature will ever make it to American Transit vans, but as previously mentioned, Ford tends to get creative about this kind of stuff. If any company is going to put something like this into work vans this side of the pond, it'll likely be the Dearborn automaker. In fact, it already offers something very similar in the current F-150, where the shifter folds away to make room for a handy work surface.
In the past, the automaker has patented everything from a roof-mounted chair for camping and tailgating to a movie projector mounted in an SUV's tailgate. Needless to say, it has some zany ideas floating around, and this steering wheel-mounted work surface is likely just the tip of the iceberg.
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