When it comes to securing cargo in a pickup bed, tie-down straps are typically the preferred choice. However, Toyota believes that isn’t sufficient.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a patent application last month, which was initially filed on June 8, 2022, where Toyota explored the use of air bladders to prevent items from shifting while the truck is in motion.
According to the patent application, the air bladders would be installed on the underside of a bed cover. The air to inflate them would be provided by a compressed located between the inner and outer walls of the bed.
After being inflated, the bladders would occupy enough space in the bed to prevent objects from moving around or vibrating.
Toyota’s primary focus is on trucks, however, the company acknowledges that the bladder system could be applied to other vehicles with large cargo areas, such as SUVs.
If it enters production, the air-bladder system might be supplemental to tie-down straps. In the patent application, Toyota notes that even after the introduction of the air-bladder system, the tie-down straps could still be used to secure the cargo.
However, the company claims that “what is needed are other cargo stabilizers that can also be used for other functions.”