Ford developing power-actuated doors

Ford has filed a patent application for power-actuated doors that automatically open when a person approaches the vehicle.

In the application, which was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on March 19, and originally filed on Dec. 3, 2021, Ford discusses using electric motors to open and close the doors, and cameras to identify an authorized user trying to get into the vehicle.

Ford automatic door patent image

Cameras would use facial recognition to determine a person’s identity and whether they’re trying to get into the vehicle. The latter would be accomplished by visually analyzing a person’s gait and comparing that to acceleration data from a phone or key fob the person is carrying.

The same concept can also be applied to a trunk, rear hatch, or EV frunk. Again, cameras would confirm a person’s identity and that they’re trying to access the vehicle, then automatically open the trunk, frunk, or hatch. This wouldn’t be as significant, though, as it’s not far off from the motion-activated tailgates that are already a common feature on SUVs from mainstream brands.

Ford automatic door patent image

Ford automatic door patent image

Ford doesn’t go into detail about why it’s trying to patent automated doors, but convenience would likely be a factor. Such a system would be the next step from the pushbutton-close doors already available on some luxury cars.

So if this system makes it to production, it might make more sense for a future Lincoln than something from the main Ford brand. Lincoln is currently in the midst of shrinking its dealership network to boost profitability, and is scheduled to start pivoting to EVs next year, with the goal of making all-electric models account for nearly 90% of its sales volume by 2030.

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