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Ford US Patent

Ford patents self-propelled unicycle which nabs car wheel - just like the 'Batpod' motorcycle


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

January 4, 2016 | 3 min read

Ford has filed an outlandish patent for a unicycle which would see users jack their car to disconnect a wheel to assemble an entirely new vehicle more suited to inner-city travel.

The motorised unicycle is built by repurposing a wheel from a car and connecting it to a hub with handles, a footrest and a seat. It is capable of self-balancing atop the moving wheel using a gyroscope to provide the passenger the correct orientation.

The design, which was filed several weeks ago, was issued to address the problems many have with transporting a bicycle in their car. As a result Ford looked to create a multi-modal transport solution capable of integrating with the motor.

With the vehicle effectively losing a wheel to the unicycle, Ford said the vehicle should be lifted by a jack during the assembly of the unicycle. The jack could be integrated into the motor’s suspension system.

Fans of Christopher Nolan's 'Dark knight' trilogy will notice how Ford's design is similar to the one for the 'Batpod' motorcycle, which could break away from a larger tank-like vehicle in the films.

The ambitious design remains a reminder of how Ford is looking to innovate inner city transport.

Don’t expect to see the unicycle anytime soon however as the patent is a long way from a finished product – if the unicycle even proves to be a practical and feasible transport system.

With products like foldable bikes, motorised micro-scooters, hoverboards, segways all competing to be the tech to replace eventually replace walking, the unicycle faces an uphill battle from its very conception.

Ford US Patent

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