Untoward drink spillages in vehicle cup holders may be a thing of the past, if something like this one ever sees light. Ford has filed a patent last week with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a self-levelling cup holder assembly to keep beverage contents in place when the car is on the move, Motor1 reports.

The rather complex-looking mechanism consists of a gimbal assembly surrounding the cup holder. This acts as a stabilising mechanism, configured to pivot and maintain the receptacle at a position level with gravity, the gimbals within the assembly moving with respect to one another to account for various forces and inclines imposed by and on the vehicle.

Essentially, the automaker says that a drink placed within the gimbal-based cup holder will be immune to spilling out its contents when subjected to dynamic external forces (acceleration, braking).

The same applies if the vehicle is pitched at an incline, though sudden vertical movement (speed bumps) may still prove to be a challenge. A proposed cover – arranged around the gimbal – will prevent the assembly from overcompensation or overcorrection.

No word on whether the self-levelling cup holder will ever come to be, but it would be one neat thing to have, especially for those who like to consume drinks while on the move.