Rolls-Royce Invents Lifesaving Suicide Doors

Scoop / 5 Comments

The luxury marque's latest idea will actively prevent you from playing in traffic.

If you've got the money for a Rolls-Royce Phantom - or any Rolls-Royce, for that matter - you expect the ultimate in luxury and the latest and greatest technology. You also expect to have suicide doors, or rear-hinged doors, because they make getting in and out of the car so much more graceful. The added wow factor doesn't go amiss either.

Since a Rolls-Royce is packed with sound deadening and snubs its nose at plastic, these doors are abnormally heavy, which is why RR includes a little motor that helps make the door feel light as you open it. In fact, Rolls-Royce doors can open and close automatically, but thus far, this invention has worked off the assumption that the occupant opening the door has ensured that it is safe to do so. But you don't have to be smart to be rich, so RR is now ensuring you don't step into traffic when it could be hazardous to do so. Allow us to explain.

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DPMA

CarBuzz has exclusively uncovered patent documentation filed with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), wherein BMW (parent company of Rolls-Royce) has applied to patent new technology for the automatic opening and closing doors on Rolls-Royce motor cars. How do we know that this won't be applied to a new BMW such as a 7 Series? Well, the imagery in the patent documentation shows a Rolls-Royce Dawn convertible. But we digress.

The patent, which has now been published by the trademark office, describes a safety system that can ensure "a collision-free open position" of a door. Basically, the idea here is to take the existing technology of a vehicle exit warning - as commonly found on vehicles as humble as Hyundais - and make it more proactive than just a warning chime.

Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
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This is where the background information at the outset becomes relevant. The invention suggests that the servo motors in the RR automatic doors would use information from radar and/or LiDAR, ultrasonic sensors, or cameras, and if the safety system detects that a car is coming, it could send a signal to the door that would either reduce or completely disable the assistance it provides in respect to opening the door, making it more difficult to open. It could also set off a warning chime (obviously) and even give a vibration through the door, thus informing the person attempting to open the door that it is unsafe to do so. If this person continues to attempt to open it, then the door could provide increased resistance. Naturally, when the car detects that the door is safe to open, normal service will resume and the door will be easy to open.

This patent was filed late in 2020 and only published recently, so you can expect it to become a regular feature on Rolls-Royces very soon, perhaps in the new Rolls-Royce Spectre.

Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce

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