General Motors (GM) has applied for two significant patents in the past few months that indicate they are planning on bringing some innovative changes that continue to expand on the utility of a pickup truck bed. These new patents include a truck bed utility wall and bed extender that may become add-on or standard options for its next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and/or GMC Sierra. We could also see them on the Chevrolet Colorado or GMC Canyon someday, or the rumored Ford Maverick fighter that’s electric. There’s really no telling at this point!
The first patent, which was filed by General Motors on July 26, 2021 and published January 26, 2023, looks to allow customers the ability to lengthen or shorten the overall dimensions of their truck bed to accommodate their hauling needs. The pictures indicate the truck bed will include an “upper bed” and tailgate that can both be repositioned relative to the “lower bed” that acts as the anchor to bed assembly itself. The patent labels the function as a “dynamically adjustable box.”
In other words, your Silverado Crew Cab Short Box could be not so short.
GM’s second truck patent, which was published November 24, 2022, is described as a “cargo bed utility wall” that would assist owners to manipulate the wall to allow for better anchor points and hauling maneuvers as needed. The utility wall seems reminiscent of the Ford Maverick and its slide rails, either one is helpful. Both patents are now a couple years old and we have yet to see them implemented on an actual GM vehicle but we presume we’ll see either or both featured on upcoming Silverado, Sierra or future iterations of the Colorado and Canyon.
We’ve seen some interesting patents from various automakers over the past few years that all seek to add more functionality to pickup trucks. Some make it to production, while some have yet to see the light of day. For example, Rivian patented a folding tailgate for what’s presumed to be the R1T, if not the eventual R2T. Meanwhile, Ford has patented a ventilated truck bed for unibody trucks such as the Maverick to allow a more luxurious camping experience, as well as a cargo storage system for truck beds.