Toyota Integrated Truck Bed Washing: Patent Of The Week

The Patent Of The Week goes to the Toyota “Integrated Truck Bed Washing“.

Back at the end of February, I wrote about Ford’s home cinema, or rather truck bed cinema patent (examined in more depth by David Tracy on Jalopnik) and said truck beds seemed “a fertile space for further development”. One month later, I have found Toyota as the next manufacturer to propose more features to make something functional into so much more.

In Toyota’s patent, they propose a series of conduits and nozzles along the sides of the bed, angled towards the bottom. The proposed system has an inlet to allow you to connect a water supply to the vehicle and utilise the nozzle array to clean out your truck bed. I think it shows serious recognition of real-world customer usage and potential ideas that make your life easier.

As an engineer at a large manufacturer I can foresee obstacles for getting to production. You need to prove that customers with pay for it and there is a high enough take-rate, ensure it is easy to manufacture at high volume, design for serviceability such as interchangeable nozzles in case of damage or blockage. Ideas such as this often require a bit of optimism that in reality people will want this feature.

In the world of trucks, margins are high enough for risks to be taken, so I hope this makes it. It might not make you buy a Toyota (you could buy or probably already have a hose/and or pressure washer), but if you did buy one, it would be one of those surprise-and-delight features that would make you feel Toyota cares for their customers.

Good idea, or unnecessary? Have your say in the comments below.

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