In Batman begins we saw how the pilot/driver of the tumbler can switch to a prone position for better control or the vehicle weapondry. http://www.deviantart.com/art/NEW-BATMOBILE-DESIGNS-19640136

enter image description here

Wouldn't this movement hurt Batman's legs? Would this position switch be possible at all?

Also, Batman asked Gordon "Can you drive stick" when requesting his help driving the batmobile. Even leaving this as a joke or catchy line, and supposing the tumbler can be driven as an automatic car, you still need to step on gas or brakes, which is unclear how can be done from that position.

So, is this shifting positions system possible (or just if we suspend disbelief?).

To clarify I'm asking if is really possible or reasonable switching to the prone position as seen in the movie without hurting the driver and then being able to control the vehicle.

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    I'm not sure what can be added beyond what's already in your own picture. It clearly shows that he can move into that position and it shows that the steering wheel controls the speed.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 20:33
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    The answer to this question is both plausible and able to be explained. I have an answer for it. The problem lies in the diagrams used to explain what happened. Those are fan diagrams and they are incorrect. Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 22:41
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    Advanced systems or AI could assist for jumps, aiming, maneuvering or even keeping the driver stable when jumping, but AI can't know when you want to stop, only when you NEED to stop/decelerate. Nevertheless, I think is a great explanation that an auto-pilot would drive the car while the driver is in the second position, focused on the weapons. I think that the vehicles in Dark Knight Rises have actually a driver and a artillerist.
    – Kreann
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 0:16
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    @Richard, but that question was asked and answered (with 17 and 20 votes, respectively, so I guess people liked or found useful both question and answer) two years ago. Why would it be considered wrong now?
    – Kreann
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 14:17
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    @Deion - Just because a question is old (or has attracted upvotes) doesn't mean that it falls within the rules of the site. Closing a question isn't a personal judgment on the OP, it's just a friendly way of asking the OP to rewrite it in a way that fits the rules. When you start taking things personally, that's when problems occur.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


Yes, given the parameters of the Tumbler as designed, the vehicle could support multiple configurations by using controls built into the movable steering column. While the prone position is likely to be uncomfortable, it is completely machine controlled, padded and balanced by a gyroscopic system and likely not meant to be used for long periods of time.

  • We can assume Batman is wearing a seatbelt capable of supporting his own weight. This aids in stability, restricting unwanted movement.

  • In the sequence where Batman goes into the weapon's well, he is not flipped forward. He slides into position and leans forward onto a platform designed to support his chest and legs.

The slide activation sequence starts at 1:30.

  • He inches forward and slides into position. I suspect it is designed to give him support on his knees and allow him to press his feet against the back for leverage and control of the steering.

  • His knees are likely hanging free like they might in a low riding motorcycle. He is more likely pressing his feet against the back of the vehicle offering stability while maneuvering.

  • The headrest presses against his back helping to hold him in place.

enter image description here

This padded and gyroscopic system provides him with shock absorption, and ensures even if the vehicle is at an angle other than flat, he maintains his position within the Tumbler. Note the rotation while the Tumbler is on the angled roof.

enter image description here

The system seems elaborate but plausible.

  • I suspect Batman is joking about someone else driving the vehicle since the control system is in his hands the entire time. Nor does the vehicle seem to have a standard control interface of pedals given its need for multiple configuration modes.

  • Could the car be driven by autopilot? Given of what we have seen of Batmobiles in the past, the vehicle's limited AI could probably navigate the streets of Gotham, even if Batman was unconscious.

  • 2
    Good answer. Bad question
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 7:41
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    Given the opening sequence in the Dark Knight with the "Loiter/Intimidate" programs, no doubt the Tumbler already has preset programs for limited movements.
    – Monty129
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 11:27
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    @Richard, Why? Why you keep saying that? You edited my question yourself, and also put it on hold. Thaddeus said already on comment #2 that he understood the question and could explain this whole sequence, which is what I wanted, and is what he has done. You didn't consider this question worth it, saying that is was possible because the movie showed it and could be done just as the movie showed it. I even compared it to similar questions, yet I fail to see why is is considered bad. Can't be unclear, since Thaddeus got it. Could you please elaborate so I improve my questions in the future?thnks
    – Kreann
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 14:13
  • @Deion - I'm happy to chat with you about it; chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/16863/batmobilechat
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 14:18
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    BTW, Thaddeus was also right the Batman slides into the weapons well, and does not get lifted up or moved forward, as shown in the diagram of the question's link.
    – Kreann
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 17:50

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