Ford patents electric unicycle that uses your car's tire

Just imagine: you work downtown and you're not shelling out for the ultra-expensive parking decks. Usually you can find a nice cheap spot on the curb a reasonable distance from your company, but not today. You've had to park many blocks away and you know you'll be sweaty and late if you walk the full distance. What's the solution? With the new Ford contraption revealed in a patent, you could just pop a tire off your car and ride it like a unicycle.

The patent concerns a "Self-Propelled Unicycle Engagable With Vehicle," one that includes a hub and motor and seat. Rather than stuffing a bicycle into your car for "multi-modal" transportation, you could instead transport the unicycle components in the trunk and, when needed, attach them to one of the car's tires for a self-balancing unicycle.

Of course, taking a car tire off isn't the easiest task, and so some sort of automatic jack would be included that lifted and lowered the car without much effort. It isn't clear how exactly the unicycle itself would attach to the car tire, but given the relatively high weight a car wheel/tire, it would hopefully be fairly hands-off as well.

The unicycle would somehow "engage" with the car's suspension system, which would, says Ford, also allow it to double as an anti-theft mechanism, in that the car wouldn't be operational if the unicycle isn't engaged (and, of course, if the wheel has been removed).

Of course, in the real world such a unicycle probably wouldn't see too much use, at least not during regular business hours. Taking a tire off one's car isn't something a lot of people are comfortable doing, and straddling one of the tires would be a good way to get brake dust all over your pants.

It's entirely possible Ford doesn't have any plans to actually proceed with making this unicycle, though.

VIA: Gizmodo