Ford has patented a shrinking car 0

Ford-has-patented-a-shrinking-carIn an interesting quirk of an idea, Ford has designed a small car that can be made even smaller. The carmaker has filed a patent for a car that folds, according to Autoblog. The idea behind the design is to create minimalistic transport alternatives for crowded and congested megacities, such as those currently expanding rapidly in China and India.

The innovation features two parallel X-frames that are connected by cross-members located at several pivot points. The passenger’s seats are hammock-style suspended from the cross-members, which could be either ultra light cables or solid compression beams. The drivetrain, steering and suspension components are all located beneath the frames.

When not in use, the vehicle’s frame can be contracted, much in the same way an extendable shaving/makeup mirror in a bathroom can be compressed. This makes it shorter in length and therefore easier to fit into tight parking spaces or garages. The car’s powertrain would be used to power the contracting/retracting.

Ford have released illustrations that demonstrate how the process would work, from a basic X-frame to a version with curved and deleted elements that shifts part of the frame between the two passengers to improve the overall ergonomics. The patent gives scope for many possible variants of the concept, depending on how many passengers were to be incorporated.

Low manufacturing costs and energy efficiency are also aspirations of the simple construction, and it’s planned that safety features can be incorporated into the design to meet different regulations and customer preferences.

At the moment, it’s likely that this idea is just a twinkling in one of their brighter designer’s heads, but the patent has been filed, just in case. Either way, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing a car of this description taking to the roads in the foreseeable future.

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