Technology

An invisible butler that opens your car doors

Jaguar Land Rover develops doors that swing open automatically as you approach the vehicle

28 December 2018 - 00:06 By Phuti Mpyane
JLR is using a Range Rover Sport to test out the new door concept. Picture: SUPPLIED
JLR is using a Range Rover Sport to test out the new door concept.                                Picture: SUPPLIED

           

JLR is using a Range Rover Sport to test out the new door concept                                    

 Triple amputee Mark Ormrod is offering customer feedback to the concept development     

The pursuit by car manufacturers to find even more ways to make life easier for drivers has seen Jaguar Land Rover develop a car door that opens automatically as the driver approaches, or can be operated by gesture control.

The mobility door prototype’s viability is being assessed on a Range Rover Sport. Much like modern day tech found in some cars also on sale in SA, it’s linked to current keyless entry technology that is able to detect the driver as they approach a vehicle from a set range and readies the doors for automatic unlocking.

JLR’s idea is to take this feature to a new level where the door will now automatically open, much like an unseen valet obliging. Once inside, an overhead button is pushed to close the door while integrated software in the infotainment system will display the status of each door and allow for operation from within the cabin.

The door can also be programmed to close and lock behind you as you walk away.Aside from the cool factor envisaged, JLR says the technology could be of good use in making entry and egress into vehicles much easier for physically challenged people. The carrying of child seats or larger items could also be made easier by this new type of door.

Triple amputee Mark Ormrod is offering customer feedback to the concept development. Picture: SUPPLIED
Triple amputee Mark Ormrod is offering customer feedback to the concept development.                                    Picture: SUPPLIED

To prevent the door dinging against cars or objects in close proximity, JLR says radar sensors on the driver’s door prevent the system from activating when obstacles are detected.

The ongoing research and development of the door is being trialled with input from former Royal Marine Commando Mark Ormrod, a gold medal-winning Invictus athlete and Britain’s first triple amputee from the Afghanistan conflict.

“This innovative Jaguar Land Rover technology would be such a benefit to me and has real power to change lives for those who face problems getting in and out of the car. Opening and closing the car door may seem like such an insignificant task to many people but sometimes it’s the small, everyday obstacles which people take for granted that are most frustrating to overcome for those living with disabilities,” said Ormrod.  

Xu Zhou, Deep Learning Technical Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The mobility door is an exciting piece of technology that offers a real-world value to our customers. There’s also something very welcoming about the door opening on your approach – something we think will be greatly valued as we become more familiar with shared mobility.”

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