Megacity dwellers can often find themselves longing for a car that can compartmentalize itself to fit in that horribly cramped parking space – only a clown car would fit into the space otherwise. Wouldn’t life be simpler if someone invented such a device?
Well, Ford Motor Company may be on to something. At least, Ford recently filed a patent for a folding car, designed to contract in order to fit into tight spaces. For awhile now, Ford’s been focusing on what the future of transportation looks like and taking a minimalist approach to technical innovations wherever possible. With goals like reducing manufacturing costs, pollution and waste, Ford engineers are working on anything that may lend to a environmentally sound future.
The design shown in Ford’s patent application is a basic X-frame, with part of the frame positions between the two passengers for improved ergonomics. When not in use, the vehicle frame appears to contract, much like an extendable makeup mirror, through the use of a combustion powertrain. There are suggestions on the patent for other versions of this shrinking vehicle design, including a tandem option, a pickup and even a three-row model for six passengers.
While a patent is only the beginning and it will likely be some time before Ford manufacturers the real thing, we can be certain that the company is working diligently toward a sustainable future, both for Ford and for the transportation industry as a whole.