Example of a standard car manufacturer’s time lag from invention to implementation (Ford Pet Mode)

“Ford Will Have a ‘Pet Mode’ Similar to Tesla’s, Patent Application Shows” (Car and Driver, 2/24/2022):

Perhaps trying to compete with Tesla’s Dog mode, Ford has filed a patent application for something called Pet mode, which would allow drivers to remotely control things including windows and temperature.

Tesla started offering its Dog mode feature around four years ago as a way for drivers to make sure any animals left inside of one of the company’s EVs don’t get too hot or cold, and that passersby would see a notification that lets them know the car is comfortable for the pet.

The patent application was filed in October 2018, which tells us that Ford had the invention in its possession four years ago. The Mustang Mach-E went into production 1.5 years ago yet still has no Pet Mode, thus encouraging anyone who likes to run errands with a dog in the vehicle to purchase a Tesla instead.


2 thoughts on “Example of a standard car manufacturer’s time lag from invention to implementation (Ford Pet Mode)

  1. It’s funny because I’ve asked myself about why it isn’t possible to modify certain features of a modern, network-based car using Visual Basic…lol. Hey! I’ve got Microsoft SYNC/NAV!

    However, the time lag is noteworthy because it does apparently depend – to some extent, at least – on the manufacturer’s priority list in light of impending Federal regulation, and not so much the engineering “know how” to accomplish it.

    Consider that Ford F150 pickup trucks in their higher-end versions now come with driver-monitoring systems that self-police driver alertness and also know about rear passengers, so they warn schmucks that they are about to roast their children to death:


    I think the time lag probably has to do more with how much Ford and other manufacturers think they should spend on an option that is not going to be required by legislation right away. They concentrate, in other words, on the stuff that might get them in trouble and then come back around to the cool user features:


    I haven’t seen any legislation requiring automakers to provide a “Dog Mode” to accommodate family pets, so maybe that’s part of it.

    Certainly the technological capability is exists and from what I can gather, the Ford in-car network should handle “dog mode” very easily. Even my lowly 2010 Escape Hybrid Limited has the automatic parallel parking feature. Virtually everything on that car has its own module and they all communicate over the car’s internal network(s), and that was a dozen years ago. It’s as closed as closed can get.

    So Elon just had one synapse connect with another after that famous Tweet and realized: “Simple to do, not yet legislated, but easy-peasy. Done!” While Ford was working on expansive “Let’s watch the driver, because Congress” system instead.

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