The 21st century presents automakers with many challenges that require new, innovative ideas to conquer. For over a hundred years now, cars have been mostly made of metal, and vehicles have gotten heavier as safety and comfort features have piled on. But a new patent filing from Ford for an “inflatable light urban vehicle” could do away with metal frames altogether…or at the very least, make this new vehicle very compact.
The patent filing attaches the “iLuv” name to the project, though there are very few details, the concept itself is quite intriguing. The whole idea of an “inflatable” car, pumped full of air, seems almost absurd. But as Ford Inside News points out, this concept might be a “foldable” car, rather than an inflatable one.
By making a foldable car, Ford could ship, store, and sell these vehicles in congested European cities with ease. The iLuv could also be destined for fleet and rental sales only, perhaps to give tourists or city dwellers transportation on demand. With much of the planet’s population now centered on major metropolitan areas, car ownership is increasingly difficult and impractical for those who live in the city. This has led to the rise of bicycling, and foldable bikes as well.
GM has already showcased its own version of personal urban mobility, and French automaker Renault is finding its Twizy EV to be quite popular with the masses. We’ll be keeping an eye on this new Ford concept to see if it is more than just hot air. Get it?
Source: Ford Inside News