Ford Patents Car With Deployable Motorcycle

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Like Batman's Batpod, but less cool

We’ve seen some pretty crazy looking patents, but this one probably tops them all. Ford has filed a patent for a car with a motorcycle built into it that can be deployed as a separate vehicle. It’s kind of like the Batpod that shoots out of the Batmobile in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, but with a Ford C-Max.

The patent application, filed Oct. 18, 2017 but published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, describes an electric motorcycle (Ford’s wording; it’s probably more like a scooter which, like the C-Max, sounds a lot less cool) that is connected by a rail system inside the car between the front seats. The scooter actually makes up the center console of the car, with the seat serving as an armrest or storage area.

The guides (410 and 420) keep the two-wheeler aligned within the car while an actutator (430) helps deploy or retract the bike. For safety reasons, the bike can only be deployed when the car’s ignition is on but the engine is off.

When needed, the motorcycle can be deployed out the front of the car. The hood lifts up and actuators, either electric motors or a hydraulic system, releases the motorcycle. With the two-wheeler deployed, the rest of the car can be driven on its own, powered by either a rear-mounted engine or hub-mounted electric motors. Meanwhile, the gap in the car where the center console used to be gets closed off by a rubber seal.

While still attached, the motorcycle can be raised so that its not touching the ground while the car is in use but the patent also describes a situation where the bike’s drive wheel can be touching the ground helping to propel the car along with the rear engine, making it a hybrid vehicle in more than one sense of the term.

The car’s infotainment system (232) is actually part of the bike itself. The saddle (232) is between the driver and passenger seats.

Ford doesn’t describe the two-wheeled vehicle in much technical detail, except to describe some amenities. The car’s infotainment system, for example, is part of the bike and can continue to serve as such when deployed, offering an on-board computer, GPS navigation, radio, and Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally, the patent describes the center console’s electrical system to heat the saddle.

It’s unlikely we’ll ever see this idea come to life, but if it does, it won’t be anywhere as awesome as this:

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

More by Dennis Chung

Join the conversation
2 of 19 comments
  • HazardtoMyself HazardtoMyself on Apr 30, 2018

    C-Max needs an auto pilot feature to go with it.

    Out riding the bike, kids need pickup, weather turns and no gear, unexpected Home Depot trip, press a button and the C-Max comes to your location.

    If driving the Max, come up on a cool road just deploy the bat bike and press a button for the Max to follow or return home.

    I could get behind the self driving car thing if this ever turns out as cool as it could be.

  • Alaskan18724 Alaskan18724 on May 01, 2018

    Ha. Ford actually patented a basket of deployables.