Okay, so you’re a vehicle manufacturer with a long history of making passenger cars.
You’re also the company that recently sent shock waves throughout the automotive world by saying you’re going to dramatically cut your passenger car offerings to focus on the trucks and SUVs that are selling better.
The problem is, you’re Ford. You’re synonymous with two of the most iconic cars in the world – the Mustang and the Model T. Passenger cars are in your blood, but you have to evolve and change with the driving public.
The solution: seek a patent for an autonomous, electric motorcycle that is embedded within and deployed from a passenger car. The United States Patent Office recently published a patent application submitted by Ford last October for such a vehicle.
And although it would be easy to think that Ford was just copying a certain comic book/movie character, it turns out they’re trying to do more than just be the automotive version of Bruce Wayne.
According to Ford’s application, their Multimodal Passenger Transportation Apparatus would combine a car with a combustion engine and an electric motorcycle to ease stress on urban parking and allow for cleaner sources of transportation in geographies that are getting tougher on vehicle emissions.
The application also specifies that the Multimodal Passenger Transportation Apparatus would be comprised of a passenger car with the traditional front seat configuration, including a center console. This console would double as the bike’s seat and the point from which it would be secured and released from the car.
In theory, the motorcycle would be released by opening a hatch at the front of the vehicle. Although the MPTA is not even in development mode, some feel speculative language from Ford referencing autonomous technology and a scalable mobility platform could actually lend some credence to the initial design.
But just to be clear, the application was simply made public – no patent has actually been granted.