Off-road vehicles are all about versatility and their ability to take their owners anywhere. While it is true that most Ford Bronco or Bronco Sport owners likely won’t be hitting the trails in their SUVs, Ford does expect these reborn Broncos to be used for outdoor activities. Whether it be a kayak, a canoe, or the family’s luggage, Ford knows owners will want to strap things to the roof. That’s why they’ve included tie-downs on the hood of every full-size Bronco. However, a recently discovered USPTO filing suggests that Ford could have something else planned for these helpful brackets.
The folks over at the Bronco6G forum were the first to discover this new Bronco-related patent, which was initially filed with the USPTO back in May 2019. The patent details a tie-down bracket for use with a motor vehicle, however these brackets aren’t like the ones found on the Ford Bronco. Instead these brackets contain an illuminated element, which the patent states would allow the bracket to replace a signature light such as a side marker or turn signal. Current regulations in the U.S. state that a turn signal must be at least 3.4 inches long as soon as it is illuminated, which doesn’t rule this design out entirely.
Patent filings and applications are never a perfect representation of what is to come from an automaker. We have yet to see a single Ford Bronco prototype with these illuminated tie-down brackets, but that also doesn’t mean they aren’t real. We know that the Ford Bronco is going to arrive with some 200 accessories available for order from the dealer at launch. Perhaps these illuminated marker lights will be a part of that extensive options list. Or maybe they will be a standard feature on the upcoming high-performance variant.
The idea of an illuminated tie-down bracket is interesting, and could prove rather useful should your adventure last longer than the daylight. However, there’s no official word from Ford on the matter at this time. You can check out the full patent for yourself at the following link.