Some car manufacturers have soft-close doors that don’t need to be slammed. Others have doors that open or close, and this is the space that Jaguar Land Rover is currently exploring.
Jaguar Land Rover is currently testing automatic car doors to provide an extra touch of mobility for those who may need it. The doors are able to open on their own when a key is some distance from the car. Not only can this help people with mobility issues, it can also help a person who is trying to carry something large, like a car seat, in a vehicle.
Closing the doors is as simple as pressing a button on the ceiling in the vehicle, without the need to reach. The infotainment system can also display the status of each door and, if necessary, open or close them at will without any additional intervention. The doors can also close when the owner leaves the vehicle after parking.
Doors that open on their own run the risk of hitting objects, so JLR has added technology to prevent this. Ultrasonic sensors on the doors can detect objects and stop the movement of the door to protect against dents and paint chips. Tesla already has this system in production on the Model X, which uses the same type of sensors to prevent its automatic doors from opening on objects.
To test its automatic doors, Jaguar Land Rover called on Mark Ormrod, a former Royal Marine and triple amputee with a gold medal at the Invictus Games. Ormrod will provide essential feedback as Jaguar Land Rover considers how to extend this technology. The automaker says “see[s] technology as relevant to all future vehicles, ”so these doors may appear on a production model before you know it.