Ford Patents Mobility Solution that Involves Batman-ish Unicycles
Ford has been working hard lately on connected mobility solutions. Earlier in the year, I was shown a project that combined a collapasable electric bicycle with a specialized Ford Transit Connect that solved the congestion problem in cities while still allowing people to own a vehicle and live in the suburbs (or have access to a vehicle when they needed it). I was able to stop paying attention to the Ford GT they had there long enough to think, “Hmm, that’s a pretty cool idea.”
According to a new patent, it seems that the company is taking it a step further. In a future where you both drive and ride to work, not everyone is going to want to own a Transit Connect. They’re going to want normal-ish cars and do normal-ish things. That makes sense.
But hang on, because it’s going to get a little weird. According to this patent filing, Ford is working on a system that allows you to convert one of the vehicle’s wheels into a motorized, electric unicycle that you then ride the rest of the way to work.
Part of the contraption is kept in the rear of the vehicle, presumably also where it’d recharge, and then then rear wheel deploys when you want to use the unicycle portion. It’s actually not that crazy of an idea, except if you still have to carry something in the rear of the vehicle, why wouldn’t you just use a collapsable bike?
The thing with patents is, even though Ford might have filed for this patent, that doesn’t mean they plan on putting it into production. They just want to be ahead of the game when the transportation needs of the future arrives.
What do you think? Let us know over in the forums!