Rivian published a few patents that revealed inventions related to its vehicles’ tailgate. One of the patents, called the Integrated Tailgate Cargo System for Automotive Vehicle(s), showed Rivian’s way of gaining access to the cargo space while a trailer is attached to the vehicle.
According to the Rivian patent, some cargo-carrying devices or systems such as bike racks can interfere and block access to a vehicle’s cargo space.
“A variety of cargo-securing devices or systems are commercially available for automotive vehicles, including cargo bed strap or rail systems, roof-mounted systems, and racks such as bike racks which attach to a trailer hitch or to a trunk of an automotive vehicle. However, existing cargo-carrying devices or systems can interfere with other features of an automotive vehicle, such as occupying or interfering with a trailer hitch or interfering with access to cargo space,” Rivian patent said.
Rivian invented a tailgate cargo system with elongated grooves running along the inner panel. Contraptions can be secured to the grooves, enabling the tailgate to hold specific items. Figure 1 in the patent’s illustrations shows the grooves hold the contraptions. It shows a device holding a bike, similar to a bike rack. The second figure in Rivian’s patents shows how the tailgate cargo system does not interfere with the trailer hitch beneath it.
Rivian’s Integrated Tailgate Cargo System highlights the company’s efforts to make all its vehicles’ parts useful to owners. Meanwhile, another Rivian patent, called Automotive Vehicle with Telescoping Tailgate, shows the company’s aim to make cars easy to use.
For instance, a telescoping tailgate makes the tailgate easier to open and close, particularly with an integrated bed cover.
“A traditional tailgate may act as an obstacle to access the bed when closed (as presenting a wall obstacle) and when open (as protruding outward from the bed and further separating a user from an inner portion of the bed). The problem may be exacerbated when a bed has an integrated bed cover. When a bed cover is present, a user typically must open the cover before opening the tailgate,” Rivian noted in the patent.
Rivian has a big year ahead. The company’s CEO, RJ Scaringe, reached out to R1 preorder holders in December 2021, providing some details about deliveries. He informed preorder holders that Rivian was prioritizing R1 orders with the Adventure Package and Large battery pack configuration.