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General Motors is one of the oldest automakers in America. The company is always working on new innovations for its customers to consider. In regards to pickup trucks, GM has filed a patent for a new accessory related to the truck bed. Here’s a look at GM’s new patent for inflatable cushions that may help folks protect cargo in their truck bed.

A look at GM’s new patent

A Chevy logo, made by General Motors (GM).
Chevy logo | Getty Images

According to GM Authority, General Motors recently filed a patent for what the company is calling a system of “Reconfigurable Pickup Bed Sides And Endgate.” This system consists of inflatable bedside panels that may protect whatever a truck owner is trying to secure in their truck bed.

This system would have two bedside panels installed onto the truck bed. There would also be a pair of bedside rails to support them. Those bedside panels are retractable using a small space in the rails. According to GM Authority, there’s also an inflatable panel located on the end gate panel. An air pump is connected to this whole setup allowing the panels to deploy by inflating them with air. 

What GM’s new patent could mean for truck owners

This new system will create an encompassing cushion in the truck bed when deployed. This may be an excellent way to keep items secure in the bed, as the inflatable panels will make it so things are less likely to move or slide around. This invention may be useful for small tools that can easily slide around an unsecured truck bed, but it may also work for more significant things.

As GM Authority said, one of the diagrams General Motors had shown had a pair of motorcycles being secured in the truck bed with this new invention. The inflatable cushions keep the wheels on the motorcycles from moving, thus keeping them secure. If this system of inflatable truck bed panels works as advertised, they could be handy in keeping other types of gear secured, such as ATVs or a toolbox. 

A look at what GM’s trucks can do


2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 Trim Levels – and What You’ll Pay for Them

This invention comes at a pivotal time in truck history, as automakers like GM are racing to develop an electric pickup truck that will capture America’s attention. The 2024 Chevy Silverado EV is GM’s big push in that field, and it looks promising as is. It’ll start at a relatively affordable price of roughly $40,000. And that’s before tax credits and incentives. If customers take advantage of the tax credits, then its price decreases to $32,500.

More importantly, the Silverado EV has some great specs and innovative features. The work truck version gets electric motors that generate 510 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque, and this will allow the Chevy to tow about 8,000 pounds or carry 1,200 pounds in its truck bed. It’ll also have a range of 400 miles and a pretty cool truck bed. Its truck bed is just under six feet long, but it can be extended to 10-feet, 10-inches if needed.

While the Silverado EV is still an upcoming truck, another great truck option in GM’s lineup is the regular Silverado. It has a lot of similarities with the GMC Sierra, but they’re both great trucks overall. It starts at just over $47,000, and it’ll come with a 6.6-liter V8. With the proper configuration, Silverado customers can get a truck that can tow over 13,000 pounds.