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Ford pedaling bicycle technology

U.S. carmaker Ford has taken a step in to the world of cycling with a new patent for an automatic kickstand, that would mean riders would never need to put their feet down.

Ford describes the stand, whose patent has been awarded by the U.S. Patent Office, as a 'telescopically deployed support arm'.

The patent application highlights the difficulty that disabled people may have riding a bicycle if they can't use their legs when stopped.

The application also says an automatic stand may remove the danger of an able bodied rider falling if a foot or feet are stuck in place.

"For example, a shoe lace can get tangled on a peddle shaft or a foot can get stuck in a toe clip, causing the rider along with the bicycle to fall to the ground," the patent reads.


Ford's automatic kick-stand design
Courtesy: Ford Global Technologies
Ford's automatic kick-stand design

Isabelle Clement is a disabled cyclist who can see benefits to Ford's invention.

"This could potentially be very useful to anyone who has an issue with balancing while stationary but doesn't otherwise need a trike.

"It could help if, say, there is no curb or railing to use to stabilize at the lights," said the cyclist to CNBC Tuesday.

Clement, who is also a director at the organization, wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk, also offered to help Ford with development.

"We look forward to hearing more about this and would love to be involved in testing," she said.

Originally filed in 2014 under Ford Global technologies, the successful application credits Michigan residents Mark Lipman and Mangala Jayasuriya with the invention.

Last year Ford revealed its new ambitions in bicycle technology when it unveiled an experimental electric pushbike.

The MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro bikes are only at the concept stage, but featured pedal assist to reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour and vibrating handlebars to tell you when to turn.

Although no confirmed date for launch, the company plans to offer them at an "affordable" price.