Most of us love that car doors can unlock without our digging into pockets for keys. But new technology will allow the doors to literally open and shut automatically in a 2019 CES Innovation Award-winning product from Continental.
Called an Intelligent Door System, Continental’s technology includes “intelligent door braking” so doors stop opening or closing at any time when an obstacle is sensed such as a tree or high curb.
The doors operate smoothly and link to a passive entry system and use sensors to detect obstacles.
The system also has an “assistant mode” which simply reduces the effort needed to open or close the door. This can be convenient when parked on a steep slope. It also allows for adjustable door speed, slam protection and “end position damping.”
Continental calls the system a safety feature. “Thanks to our intelligent vehicle door, trapped fingers and battered doors will be a thing of the past,” said Johann Hiebl, Head of Continental Body & Security Business Unit. “By means of its connection with our passive start and entry system (PASE), the vehicle doors open automatically and contact-free at the right time. They also recognize the respective user and open on the right side.”
The feature is intended for every day vehicles as well as autonomous cars in the future. “But especially in fully autonomous vehicles such as robotaxis, we see a smart autonomous door with obstacle detection as a necessity,” said a spokesman.
The technology could go into production in 2021 based on the typical automotive development cycles, he said.
Hiebl added, “It is the combination of our know-how in the field of system integration and intelligent door control with our partners’ mechanical components that makes the intelligent vehicle door possible. With their combined expertise, companies like Warren Industries, Stabilus, and Inteva regularly give us significant inputs for development.”
The product will be demonstrated at CES in January at booth #7519 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center and at a press conference on the eve of the show.