Like a car that’s been driven straight out of a naff spoof of The Dark Knight, Ford has filed a patent for the weirdest hybrid car ever – and I’m not talking about an electrical hybrid.
According to the patent, published by the US Patent Office, the company has designed a hybrid vehicle with a «deployable, integrated, autonomous» motorcycle built inside.
If you’re struggling to picture what that looks like, it’s essentially a motorcycle, built into the middle of the car, between the driver seat and the passenger seat and that seemingly ejects autonomously, just like the Batmobile.
“A multimodal transportation apparatus comprising a passenger car with a driver seat, a passenger seat and a centre console; a motorcycle equipped with and autonomously driven by an electric motor; and a securing apparatus that releasable, fixedly secures the motorcycle to the passenger car,” the patent reads. “The motorcycle is arranged between the driver seat and the passenger seat in a direction of travel.”
See related Ford’s new smart window lets blind passengers “see” passing scenery using vibrations, touch and AI Car scrappage scheme round-up: Audi and Ford scrappage schemes will now run until 2018 Best hybrid cars in 2018 UK: From i8 to Golf GTE, these are the best hybrids on sale
While the patent makes reference to a motorcycle, it isn’t actually as cool as it sounds. It appears that it’s more of a motorised, electric bike rather than a full-on motorbike. The car is intended to be used in urban areas with limited parking spaces, so the driver can park, eject the motorcycle and then travel to their destination, avoiding the morning traffic.
The car “further comprises a rechargeable battery that supplies power to the electric motor and is connected electrically in parallel with a passenger car battery”. In essence, the two batteries – car and motorcycle – work in tandem to charge the battery.
While it seems a little strange, the patent claims the car improves on other constructions, such as strapping a bike onto the top or the back of a car. Whether this will ever materialise in the real world, or whether it will be more economical than buying a foldable bike, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Ford seems to be pioneering the car tech of the future as of late. Yesterday, it was revealed the company has been working on a smart window that allows visually impaired people to “see” the scenery, just through touch.