Ford Motor Company has notably been in the bicycle news lately as the title sponsor of the San Francisco bike share program Ford GoBike. But a recent patent application by the company is geared towards those that own both cars and bikes with a Retractable Bicycle Carrier.
The patent application – published Jul 6 2017 – details a retractable bicycle carrier. The specs and drawings in the patent are installed on a Ford Mustang, but the text of the patent clearly indicates this as a device intended for any vehicle.
A bicycle carrier system for a vehicle includes a rail assembly configured for translation between a stored position within a vehicle fascia and a fully deployed position. The rail assembly includes one or more sliding rails each carrying a plurality of pivoting anchors.
Of course this is just a patent application and there is no real indication that this will ever come to market. It is also not the first time we’ve seen automakers experiment with bicycle centric autos. But Ford seems to be doing more and more in the area of bicycles.
Because we view ourselves, both as an automotive company, and as a mobility company
In addition to the Ford GoBike partnership mentioned above, the company had previously been working into the bicycle market in a much more direct manner. The MoDe:Flex was a prototype smart bike reported on VeloReviews. Perhaps Ford is hedging its bets about where transportation is heading in the future.