Ford reveals kick-activated automatic tailgate on 2013 Kuga

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 7, 2012

Opening the boot of the all-new Kuga from Ford Motor Company is easy with its new hands-free tailgate. Accessing the hood is an experience in itself. Many Kuga consumers would appreciate the hands-free system since they don’t have to put down their loads or other packages. The hands-free system enables Kuga customers to gently kick a foot beneath the rear bumper to open and close the tailgate without setting aside packages or other loads.

To open and close the tailgate, all that consumers have to do is to gently kick a foot beneath the rear bumper. However, they’d still need to have the key on them whether in their pocket or handbag.

Dominik Nical, security electronics expert, Ford of Europe, said that this is a “perfect example” of the role of current technology to boost its customer’s experience with Ford vehicles. He also believes that this “solution” will be effective in addressing a common problem. It took the development team six months to work with Ford’s Human Machine Interface laboratory. Interference with other systems was avoided.

The hands-free tailgate builds on Ford’s Intelligent Access push-button start. A person’s shin and kicking motion is detected by two seasons in the rear bumper. This system protects against accidental opening, like when an animal runs under the car or when the vehicle hits a bump on the road. Late last year, the system debuted on Kuga’s sister model, the Ford Escape, in North America.

Ford engineers re-calibrated the system for Europe to guarantee that it would still work if a tow bar had been fitted since this is an option popular to European Kuga customers. The automatic hands-free tailgate will be offered as an option with Keyless Entry on the all-new Kuga on sale in the UK in early 2013.

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