In February 2020, Rivian patented a swing and drop tailgate. The unique tailgate has dual functionality. One function is to operate similar to a traditional tailgate by rotating about a hinge into a horizontal orientation. The second, more unique function, includes the tailgate remaining in a generally vertical orientation while swinging out past the rear bumper. The tailgate can then drop below the bed of the truck. Thus, the design provides greater access to the truck bed. The reproduced figures below depict the dual functionality.

Figures 1 and 2 from U.S. Pat. No. 10,569,812

This is one of those inventions where you see it and wonder why you never thought of it. It’s brilliant and clearly more desirable than any other existing alternative tailgate design. Hopefully, Rivian will incorporate this design into the R1T pickups. We might even see this patented design in the R1S SUV.

Rivian has done a great job of not just reinventing the powertrain, but also reinventing as many aspects of its vehicles as possible. Rivian’s patented swing and drop tailgate is sure to be one of many innovations to come. The future of automotive technology is very exciting thanks to companies like Rivian leading the charge (pun intended).