When it comes to life imitating art, we love to see real-life technological wonders that were inspired by comic book characters and superheroes. That’s about as American as baseball, apple pie, and, well, Ford Motor Company, right? To further that point, Ford recently patented the design for a radical electric vehicle any superhero would be happy to ride. Designers were inspired by the Batpod that the caped crusader uses to escape in The Dark Knight but the Ford version is even more fantastic because it features only one wheel.
Essentially, Ford wants to build a vehicle that mutates as the circumstances dictate. The patent shows illustrations of an unassuming looking sedan, much like Ford’s current offerings, but with a special hidden talent. The rear wheel (yes, just one) is designed to be removed, tire and all, and attached to a seat and handlebar assembly with a battery that looks more like a dirt bike than any form of highway-ready transportation. Much like the escape vehicle that hatches from the beaten up Batmobile in The Dark Knight, seen in the video above, this Ford design turns your back wheel into a self-balancing electric unicycle. It just requires a little more assembly than the film version (which, incidentally, is a two-wheeled motorcycle).
So, imagine that you’re driving around town in your Ford sedan. Maybe you have the windows down and the stereo cranked, I don’t know. After cruising along for a while, something happens and you decide you need to ditch your car. Perhaps you run out of gas, or the road becomes too narrow, or you’re being chased by zombies. For whatever reason, you need a more agile form of transportation and you’ve forgotten to stow your folding bicycle in the sedan’s trunk. If this is all happening in the future and you’ve chosen your Ford wisely, the answer is waiting for you in your rear wheel well.
What will it be like to drive a Batpod-inspired Ford-made clean energy unicycle? Well, who knows. As is the case with so many technological designs, we have no idea whether Ford’s superhero-inspired transport device will ever come to fruition. But, if it does, we just hope it comes standard with a crash helmet.
Images via Ford, U.S. Patent Office