People are very enthusiastic of taking pictures while driving. It seems Ford wants in on the action, too, according to a patent filed by the company. It shows a fancy camera mount that can gather information from the car, and can rotate the camera as needed.
Ford has a new patent out for a vehicle camera system – but it’s not designed for use in autonomous cars, as you might imagine. Instead, it’s a vehicle-mounted camera concept that would use data fed by the vehicle itself about its speed, trajectory and more to determine how to best position themselves to get the best shots.
The Ford patent, which was originally filed in 2015 and discovered by Patent Yogi, describes the system as an answer to the problem of people attempting to use their own smartphones and standard cameras to snap photos and record video while their vehicle is moving, and even while driving. Ford’s alternative presents a system designed to be used without driver involvement, and with externally mounted cameras that also wouldn’t be impeded by windows or a car’s internal structure.
According to the patent, the device could be mounted in an array of locations such as the dashboard or windshield, and it should accept a variety of cameras. Inside is a motor that can rotate the camera clockwise or counter-clockwise. The patent describes the mount’s ability to receive information from the vehicle, such as speed, steering inputs, and even GPS data that would allow it to automatically adjust the camera position. So it could turn left as you steer left to stay focused on the road ahead, or it could move in the opposite direction to keep it trained on a specific point.
With vehicles increasingly featuring built-in connectivity, ways to automatically share scenic trips via social media might be cool, but it also opens up questions about how connected we want our lives to be. Still, just patent applications at this stage, but interesting to see some of the ways automakers are thinking about tackling the potential for mobile device distraction.