Through an eagle-eyed member of the FocusRS forums in the US called Professor G, the patent submission by Ford of Dearborn, Michigan that was dated June 25th came to light, quite literally. It used words such as “luminescent vehicle moulding”.
We’re no experts in the technicalities of patent lingo but it seemed to detail an inner light source could be used to brighten the outer panels of a car. For the purposes of the patent filing, Ford decided to illustrate their point with a Ford Mustang convertible.
It seems that bits of the plastic trim will be able to be given this glowing treatment, as there’s no clear description of the metal panels having this property, describing the application of photoluminescent coatings that would require only a miniscule amount of energy and electronics to manage.
The only known mechanism for generating light with low energy levels is through LEDs, and perhaps with them covered by layers of moulding, would appear to be completely hidden to the outside observer. Once turned on, the light would permeate the special luminescent coating, thereby lightning up the intended panel.
If true, these panels don’t seem to require factory fitting during the production process, meaning that these glowing panels can be retrofitted to existing Fords.
The possibilities for this technology’s application stretch quite far. Imagine turn signals (or emergency lights) that occupy the entire bumper.