The idea sounds cool, but kind of crazy.
General Motors has become synonymous with the Transformers movies since Bumblebee, one of the main characters, was introduced as the then-new Chevrolet Camaro. GM has since used the films to introduce new versions of the Camaro that Bumblebee can transform into. The films have provided excellent exposure for GM, but the American automaker now wants to take the connection to a whole new level. Patent files that were acquired by GM Inside News show designs for a real-life transforming car from GM.
Of course, the real car won't transform into a giant robot capable of shooting advanced weaponry at the Decepticons. Instead, GM envisions a car capable of changing its roofline and width in order to become more or less aerodynamic on demand. The specific patent application is for “Method and Systems for Reconfiguring a Vehicle Geometry,” showing a vehicle with configurable body panels. The idea is to create a car that can allow for more or fewer passengers depending on the situation. Imagine driving around a small, two-seater car that can transform into a larger, seven-seater at the press of a button.
GM's idea could be particular valuable for autonomous cars, which could shrink in size and even retract the roof completely when there are no passengers. Without any passengers, the car could theoretically fold down the roof and windshield to create a lower coefficient of drag and become more efficient. The idea sounds extremely futuristic, so we doubt we'll see anything more than a design concept anytime soon.