Modern cars can do all kinds of things, including driving themselves in certain situations. Features like heated seats have been around for decades and the functions of massage seats are also expanding into the luxury fold. A hot back massage is certainly good, but what about a killer foot massage? Yes, apparently it could become a thing if General Motors followed through on this strange vehicle patent for a pneumatic foot massage system.
Before going any further, yes, we are aware that in-car foot massage is not a new concept. The current generation Audi A8 can rub the soles of rear passengers using a massager integrated in the backrest of the front passenger seat. However, it’s only available in one location and it’s only offered in the long-wheelbase model with room to literally stretch your legs. This GM patent seeks to spread the love for passengers throughout the cabin.
As such, this foot massage system is not designed for seat backs. By deciphering the technical language of patents, we learn that the system uses compressed air to move the floor to strategic places where passengers can rest their feet. The drawings and descriptions indicate that these “tire” locations could be parallel or perpendicular to the vehicle, and of course everything would be controlled by the passenger. There is no mention of such a system available to the driver, probably because the driver has to have shoes on at all times for, you know, drive.
Honestly, we wonder if such a system would really be that effective. There is no mention of heat in this patent, and simply placing your feet on the ground does not appear to be the optimal position for a foot massage. A multitude of air lines and bladders circulating on the floor also seems overly complicated when mechanical systems can be used, but hey, that’s a patent application. Automakers file requests all the time for ideas that never come to fruition, so take this one with a grain of salt.
Still, if your next-gen Cadillac Lyriq has a floor-mounted foot massager, you’ll know where it all started.