Yanking the doors off a Ford Bronco isn't too difficult, and it's a great way to have a more involving off-road experience. It's not as great cruising at speed down the highway, and while you could install some tube doors, that's a lot of work for a more secure open-air driving experience. Based on this recently published patent for deployable screen doors, it appears Ford is thinking about ways to improve the experience.

The patent was originally filed back in October 2020, not long after the debut of the Bronco with its removable doors. The vehicle used for the patent images doesn't resemble the Bronco, but we can't help thinking Ford had its reborn Jeep Wrangler competitor clearly in mind with this idea. In short, it's a network of screens that can deploy either automatically or at the command of the driver. Motors move the screens into position, and it's not just for doors. The patent also talks about screens for removable roof panels, though we're not sure why anyone would favor that over clear, unobstructed skies.

2021 Ford Bronco

Screens over open doors can certainly offer a bit more security to driver and passengers afraid of falling out, but Ford also hints at a larger safety aspect with the patent. The screens are extended and retracted with electric motors, but a pyrotechnic device could also be used to literally blast them into place if an impact event is detected. Presumably, sensors would confirm that arms, legs, or fingers aren't in the openings before setting them off. And it's not clear how fast they would need to deploy to be effective. In short, Ford has patented electrically deployable, explodable screen doors.

Will this feature appear on future vehicles? As always, many patents are filed just to protect ideas that never come to fruition. That said, deployable screens seem like a great idea for door cavities. Adding a pyrotechnic charge to blow them into place during a crash? We're still mulling that part over.

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