All-wheel or four-wheel steering isn't exactly new. It has been used by certain types of heavy machinery, as well as monster trucks, in order to improve maneuverability in tight situations. As for production vehicles, the technology has been around since the 1980s, and currently employed on high-end cars such as the 911, Bugatti Chiron, and Lamborghini Huracan Evo, among others.
However, Ford seems to be looking to add this technology to its F-Series trucks, as reflected by a patent submitted in December 2019. The patent, which was scooped up by The Drive, aims to employ an all-wheel steering system to Ford heavy-duty trucks that utilize a live rear axle suspension setup.
Gallery: Ford All-Wheel Steering Patent
Of course, the rear-wheel steering will be electronically activated and controlled by actuators. The patent submission also stipulates the use of Ackerman steering geometry. According to the document from PatentSwarm, Ackerman steering geometry prevents tires from turning about different turning points when, err, turning. With that said, tire scrubbing should be prevented or reduced, optimizing the very reason rear-wheel steering is being added – improved handling.
If ever this new steering technology makes it to Ford trucks, improved performance can be expected, as well as heightened maneuverability. This will also be the first time that Ford will adopt an all-wheel steering system into its cars.
The Drive reached out to Ford regarding the patent application and as expected, the Blue Oval said that the patent application is a "normal course of business" and "aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans."
To recall, GM offered Quadrasteer on its trucks in 2002, but it wasn't met with high demand until it was discontinued in 2005. Will Ford face the same fate if ever it pushes through with its new all-wheel steering system? Only time will tell.