Ford Patents Suggest Hyperactive Suspension Settings, Promises Daredevil Mode

Yesterday, we wrote about a trademark that Ford applied for relating to G.O.A.T. Modes, which we had a couple of guesses about. Another patent application for an “Anomaly Mitigation Suspensions Mode” may shed a little more light on what Ford is planning.

The AMSM is an “intelligent suspension system capable of integrating freeform vehicle dynamics assignmnent with existing capabilities of a full active suspensions system for achievement of traditional and non-traditional vehicle performance needs.”

In English, that seems to mean that a Ford vehicle will have the ability to raise and lower its own suspension (among other drive systems) without the need for the driver to actually pick a suspension mode.

Many SUVs today have an adjustable suspension that allows drivers to pick an off-road mode or an on-road mode. These modes (put very simply) raise or lower the suspension to offer better ground clearance off-road and better aerodynamics on the road.

Ford looks to be trying to automate that system and introduce a few party pieces to impress your friends.

The “traditional performance needs,” as Ford puts it, may be as simple as the vehicle recognizing when it’s off-road and raising the suspension. But Ford hasn’t stopped there.

The patent also details a system that could lower the front suspension while keeping the back end high to improve visibility when you’re on a steep grade. Again, the vehicle would just recognize when it’s on a steep incline and wouldn’t require you to stop, run through menus, and decide pick a mode.

The changes could also be subtler. The system could, for instance, use the data it collects to decide what kind of surface you’re on (dirt, gravel, mud) and adjust the ride height and drive settings to better suit the trail.

The changes could also be a lot less subtle. Ford’s patent features an Entertainment Mode. According to the patent application, this mode would monitor the driver’s non-traditional inputs to put it into either Music Mode or Daredevil Mode.

In music mode, the vehicle could bounce in time with music. That may be a little like the Mercedes GLE’s famous party trick where it bounces up and down. In the GLE it’s intended to help you free yourself from sand, but in a parking lot, it could just be a fun way to impress your friends (or make them feel wildly carsick).

Daredevil mode, meanwhile, would “regulate a suspension height of the vehicle to achieve a target suspension height that correlates to a desired daredevil driving experience.” That literally means driving on three wheels, according to the patent.

These, of course, are the more extreme examples of what’s possible. Mobility Suspension Mode would determine whether you’re in traffic, hauling, of driving around the city to put you in the ideal suspension mode.

The patent also outlines an “Avoidance Suspension Mode,” which, presumably, would help Ford avoid an embarrassing “moose test” result.

So what does all of this have to do with G.O.A.T. modes? Well, as MotorTrend suggests, we may have misread what G.O.A.T. stands for. We’re only slightly better informed today, so this is all still guess work, but in the context of this patent, G.O.A.T. may stand for “Get Over Any Terrain” (or something similar) rather than Greatest of All Time.

Naturally, we still don’t know what it all will apply to. An off-roader seems likely, making the Bronco and Bronco Sport likely candidates, but it also seems expensive and hard to fix. That would by no means disqualify it from being a part of the off-road community, but does lead us to at least question if it will be available on the little Bronco Sport.

Wherever these modes are put into use, we’ll be sure to keep you informed with the latest.

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