Lane Split­ter — to­gether it’s a car, apart it’s two com­muter bikes

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - STU RO­BARTS

IF you share a car with your other half then there’s bound to come a time when you both need to use it for dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

Well, a new con­cept de­sign would mean that you could. The Lane Split­ter is a car that splits apart and be­comes two mo­tor­bikes.

The idea for the un­usual de­sign came from Fast Com­pany’s Mark Wil­son, and was dis­tilled into ren­der­ings by prod­uct de­sign firm Ar­gode­sign. Wil­son says the aim was to cre­ate some­thing that could pro­vide the so­cial ex­pe­ri­ence of a car, but that could be a sporty per­sonal ur­ban trans­port ve­hi­cle too.

As with many con­cept de­signs, the Lane Split­ter is more a flight of fancy than an ex­er­cise in prac­ti­cal­ity. It is 128 in (325 cm) long and, when in car-mode, takes the form of a buggy-like ve­hi­cle. In­spi­ra­tion for the de­sign came from as var­ied places as the Bat­man Tum­bler and the work of Syd Mead. When its two halves are sep­a­rated, it be­comes two closed-top mo­tor­bikes.

In or­der to achieve a flush fit be­tween the two sec­tions, but to avoid a “boxy look”, the Ar­gode­sign team, led by Chipp Wal­ters, em­braced the no­tion of asym­me­try. Each mo­tor­bike is curved on the side that forms the ex­te­rior of the car and flat on the side that joins to the other bike.

Hub­less front wheels are used to al­low for adapt­abil­ity. In bike­mode, the front tyres split and sep­a­rate slightly to pro­vide more sta­bil­ity and a bet­ter lon­gi­tu­di­nal cen­tre of grav­ity. When in car­mode, the front wheels of each bike move to­gether to form car wheels that are more tra­di­tional in terms of width and sep­a­ra­tion.

Given the un­usual premise of the Lane Split­ter and that only an ini­tial pass has been made at the de­sign, there are nat­u­rally a num­ber of ob­sta­cles that would ham­per it be­ing brought to pro­duc­tion. “Over­all, cost as de­signed would seem pro­hib­i­tive at this time,” Ar­gode­sign tells

Giz­mag. “There would need to be more it­er­a­tion on con­cept de­sign along with a sub­stan­tial en­gi­neer­ing ef­fort to re­alise the tech­nol­ogy and prom­ise of a ve­hi­cle which sep­a­rates into two.”

— Giz­


Two bikes in one to make for a friendly com­mute.

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