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
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.