It might just be the greatest thing since heated seats.
In-car seat massaging systems have become a common feature in mainstream cars like the Buick Envision, Ford F-150, and Ford Explorer. But now General Motors is taking things to the next level by filing a patent for a foot massager.
The patent filing submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office describes a foot massaging system embedded in the floorboard. Titled “Vehicle Foot Massage System in A Vehicle Floor,” this built-in massage feature would use compressed air to create moving patterns underneath passengers’ feet. In other words, air pockets that move up and down just like the mechanism found on massaging seats.
Implanted in specific locations throughout the floor, all passengers, except for the driver who needs to focus on driving, can kick off their shoes and enjoy a foot massage. And while the Audi A8 already has a similar setup, the difference here is that the GM foot massager does not require that you lift your feet or make any additional seat adjustments.
The GM system components include an air pump, a user interface, a controller, an air manifold, and the pneumatic elements that generate patterns. Passengers would likely be able to select from a variety of massage presets and set preferences via a touchscreen display, which in this digital-savvy world makes sense.
If this floor-mounted massager comes to fruition, GM has plenty of candidates in its lineup ready for installation, including the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq, and best-selling Cadillac Escalade. The timing of this patent could not be more perfect.