A recently published patent that was filed in February 2018 shows a design for side barriers and a hinge and latch assembly for removable doors that could be applied to the forthcoming Ford Bronco, as described in the filing by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Here, the Bronco design appears to use a telescoping form for the barriers when the vehicle is being driven with its doors removed. This extending component could be made of “plastic, metal, or any suitable material, including a combination thereof,” according to the patent filing.

The patent describes multiple telescoping sections rather than just a single unit along the length of the door aperture. This design would offer a means of keeping the Bronco’s occupants from falling out of the vehicle in the event of an accident when its doors have already been removed, and its airbags deploy in the incident.

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An earlier publication of another set of patents, likely also for the Bronco were sighted by Car & Driver, with both patents having received approval according to the website. The first of which describes a removable roof structure which can detach the vehicle’s B-, C- and D-pillars as well as roof rails and cross beams in order to give a true open-air experience.

In this setup, the B-pillars retract into the vehicle’s body, though the rest of the removable components will likely have to be stored separately. The patent also claims that this design has minimal effect on the vehicle’s structural integrity, according to the report.

The next patent sighted is for side curtain airbags that can be repacked following deployment in the event of an incident. The idea is that the user can manually repack the deployed airbags into their covers and re-manoeuvre the vehicle to a more easily accessible area for emergency services to assist, and having repackable airbags helps in isolated areas where help may not be immediately available.