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Ford Bronco Grab Handle Patent

Ford's Innovative Patents for Revolutionizing the Bronco's Grab Handle

Ford Motor Company (through one of its subsidiaries) has recently filed several patents related to the Ford Bronco's passenger side grab handle located on the center console. These patents give us a glimpse of Ford’s ideas to add functionality to the handle beyond its original purpose of providing a place for passengers to hold on while navigating rough terrain.  These patents show Ford's dedication to providing passengers with convenient and useful features in the Ford Bronco, even in the most unexpected places like the passenger grab handle.

Vehicle Assist Handle Assembly Having a Display (Publication No. 20220097582)

The first patent filed by Ford on September 25th, 2020, and published on March 31st, 2022, is for a possible Ford Bronco handle assembly with a display. This patent takes the concept of the passenger side grab handle a step further by adding a display to the handle, along with a communication link and a strong connector to hold it in place.

 Grab Handle with Display Patent

The patent drawings depict a pair of gauges on the display, showing the vehicle's oil pressure and water temperature, which are commonly added to various places inside the cabin, including the dashboard, steering column, and center console. The addition of the display to the grab handle provides passengers with easy access to vital information about the vehicle's performance.

Grab Handle with Displays

In addition to the gauges, the patent also depicts a large, vertically-oriented screen, which could presumably be used to display all sorts of information, from GPS navigation to media playback. The communication link and connector would allow for easy integration with the vehicle's infotainment system and other features.

Grab Handle with Display

Vehicle Assist Handle Assembly Having an Inductive Charger  (Patent No. 11,548,425)

The second patent filed by Ford on September 25th, 2020, and granted on January 10, 2023, is for a possible Ford Bronco handle assembly with an inductive charger. The patent drawings depict the inductive charger present in the grab handle of the center console, allowing passengers to charge their devices wirelessly.

Grab Handle with Inductive Charging

While the Bronco can already be equipped with a wireless charger, an additional charger in the grab handle provides passengers with another convenient way to charge their devices. The patent also depicts additional features such as a hanger to hold devices while they're charging, a power cable, and a wireless communication link. The addition of an inductive charger to the grab handle provides passengers with an additional level of convenience, allowing them to keep their devices charged without the hassle of cords and cables.

Grab Handle with Inductive Charging


Vehicle Assist Handle Assembly Having Proximity Sensor Control (Publication No. 20220212587)

 The third patent filed by Ford on January 5th, 2021, and published July 7, 2022, is for a possible advanced handle assembly for the Ford Bronco. This handle assembly features a sensor that can determine when a passenger is holding onto the grab handle and how hard they are gripping it. The sensor can then activate any number of devices based on that particular signal. 

Bronco Grab Handle

The sensor can also determine whether it's the driver or passenger grabbing the handle, allowing for adjustments in vehicle settings. For example, if the SUV is traveling over rough roads, the sensor can adjust the suspension to provide a smoother ride. When the occupant eases or removes their grip completely, the vehicle settings can revert back to normal. 

Bronco Grab Handle

This sort of feature makes sense in an off-road vehicle like the Bronco, which employs handles as a way for passengers to hold on while the driver navigates over rough, uneven terrain. The sensor can provide additional safety measures and improve the overall off-road experience for passengers.

I like what Ford’s engineers have done here. Overall, these patents have the potential to greatly impact the Ford Bronco, making it even more convenient, comfortable, and safe for passengers. The automaker's continued focus on innovation in the rugged off-road SUV market demonstrates its commitment to providing consumers with the best possible driving experience.

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