The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, has issued Ford a patent for a “vehicle seat having moisture sensing,” according to an article on the website Ford Authority. The abstract discusses a vehicle seat with a seat base, a cushion on the base, and one or more channels formed in the cushion, and a moisture sensor in the seat base to detect liquid in one or more channels. The sensed fluid would indicate a seat condition that could be used to control the usage of the seat and drying of the seat.
The moisture sensor could be another attempt at creating a heated and ventilated seat. Current climate-controlled car sets use heat-sensing resistors and cooling fans to control heating and cooling. The moisture sensing system would likely trigger on if the seat gets, with the temperature determining whether the seat is heated or cooled.
According to the article, patent flow charts show a sensing system that can tell if a seat is wet, start the drying process automatically and tag the seat as blocked from sale. With Ford intending to launch its autonomous fleet of taxies, this development would reportedly keep an unsuspecting passenger from setting in a seat where the previous passenger got it wet.