Versatile and Stylish: A Perfect Fit For Any Purpose.
Rivian recently submitted a patent for a collapsible truck and SUV bed and roof rack system. This patent, discovered by Motor Authority, was officially registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on December 27, 2022, and was publicly released on January 11, 2024, under the title “Foldable Automotive Rack System.”The proposed design aims to address the limited storage space in pickup trucks and SUVs by offering a stowable feature for both the bed and roof rack. This innovative concept would allow users to easily store and transport large items without the need for a permanent installation.The patent application reveals that the collapsible bed system functions by using a series of hinges and locking mechanisms. These components would enable the bed floor to fold upwards towards the cabin, creating more space for cargo when needed. When not in use, the bed can be folded down, allowing for a regular rear seating arrangement.Similarly, the stowable roof rack system incorporates hinges and adjustable brackets, enabling it to collapse into the roof of the vehicle. This feature would provide a sleek and aerodynamic design, minimizing wind resistance, and improving fuel efficiency while not in use.Rivian’s Folding Vehicle Rack system has the potential to revolution
The functioning of this mechanism is straightforward: a pair of vertical bars are attached to the sides of the bed using clips, one on each side. From these, a hinged horizontal bar is connected, bridging the two ends of the bed. This process is duplicated, and an additional horizontal bar is fastened in between the two newly-formed U-shaped structures, at a perpendicular angle. Once again, one such structure is created on each side of the bed.
When taking apart a structure with vertical top bars that are hinged, simply unhook the diagonal supports on both sides. This will cause each U-shaped frame to collapse inwards, fitting neatly within its own length.
Rivian claims that their unique design, shown below, will effectively prevent debris and dirt from getting into the hinges. This is crucial for a brand that prides itself on promoting an adventurous lifestyle. These racks can be easily folded and stored in the Gear Tunnel of an R1T, or occupy minimal space in a garage. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, they have the potential to be adapted for use as a roof rack, making them compatible with an R1S as well.
It is intriguing to note that Ford is currently investigating roof racks that resemble these ones for its upcoming products.
In other areas, Rivian has recently submitted a patent for a departure light that can be mounted on the roof to offer additional illumination for off-roading enthusiasts. This may have inadvertently revealed the design of their upcoming R2 compact SUV.
Why is the folding roof rack crucial? The R2 platform aims to be more cost-effective and convenient, while still embodying the adventurous spirit that defines Rivian’s current innovations. In order to achieve this goal, Rivian must continue to generate concepts like this one, that are low-cost to manufacture once the blueprint has been refined.
Rivian may have taken on more than it could handle with several of its commitments, such as the highly intricate Camp Kitchen and Gear Tunnel systems. The disappointment continued with the powered tonneau cover, but simpler concepts such as these could improve the functionality of both the costly R1 and the more affordable R2, as well as upcoming Rivian electric vehicles.