The technology could help make accessing cars easier for disabled drivers.
Jaguar Land Rover has developed a prototype for a revolutionary new door that could make cars easier to access for disabled drivers. Dubbed the mobility door prototype, the door automatically opens as the driver approaches, or it can be operated with gesture control.
The technology, which is currently being tested on a Range Rover Sport, uses motion sensors and keyless entry technology to detect the driver as they walk towards the vehicle before opening automatically. Jaguar Land Rover says this new door technology could help make accessing cars easier for disabled drivers. It could also be useful for people who have their hands full carrying child seats or large items.
Like a Rolls-Royce, the mobility door prototype can be closed from the inside by pressing an overhead button without needing to reach out and pull the door shut. Radar sensors on the driver's door detect lamp posts or other obstacles to stop the door hitting objects when it opens. The prototype door can also be programmed to close and lock itself when the driver walks away.
Jaguar Land Rover has been trialing the system with Former Royal Marine Commando and triple amputee Mark Ormrod. "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."
The technology was developed on a laboratory rig for over six months before it was tested on a Range Rover Sport, but there's no word yet when the technology is likely to be added to future Jaguar Land Rover models. "The mobility door is an exciting piece of technology that offers a real-world value to our customers," said Xu Zhou, deep learning technical research manager at Jaguar Land Rover. "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."