It could also extend the area vehicle's turn signals or act as a massive puddle light.
Ford has an interesting idea to installing LED lights to illuminate a vehicle’s wheels, and the company thinks they could allow for several useful innovations. The basis of the Blue Oval's idea would be tomount red, green, and blue LEDs on the upper edge of each wheel well. By mixing their intensities, the lights could create any color of illumination.
Ford’s patent describes one way of using the light as an easy to understand tire pressure indicator. The system would shine a red light on the tire if the owner needs to top it up immediately. A yellow light might indicate too high pressure, and green would mean that everything is fine.
Once a person decides to fill up the tires, the lights would also illuminate and the nearby area for more convenient inflation, especially at night. The automaker even imagines having a photoluminescent material on the tires that would make them glow the appropriate color when illuminated.
Similar to the puddle lights that are already some Fords’ side mirrors, the company describes using this system as even more extensive illumination of the side of a vehicle. The firm even thinks about a version of the tech that would detect the key fob coming and light up the vehicle.
In addition, the company thinks these lights could be useful while driving. For example, when a driver turns on the turn signal, these bulbs could illuminate the appropriate side of the road for better visibility. Or, they could flash amber as an extension of the turn signal.
Where many patents describe tech that would be difficult to introduce given current technology, this seems to be a direct evolution of current technology. There aren’t any major hurdles keeping Ford from introducing this idea. Better yet, this system seems incredibly useful by giving people one more way to know whether their vehicle’s tires are at the right pressure.
Source: U.S Patent and Trademark Office