Modern vehicles have been equipped with automated braking functions for some time now, in a bid to save us from peril even if we don’t react in time.
But engineers don’t have that vast array of ideas that potentially turn into life-savers, so they need to focus – at least some of them – on problems that are small, but frustrating. One such issue is having your car door dinged in a crowded parking lot – hardly the worst, yet always frustrating. So, a team of engineers from a German auto component company called Kiekert AG have taken the task of protecting us from such stressful situations. And together with students at Cologne’s Erzbischoefliche Liebfrauenschule business school, they now say they found a solution – something of an auto-braking system for car doors. Named “i-protect,” the system is rather similar to the forward collision prevention systems now deployed in numerous cars and crossovers. They usually brake without human intervention if the driver is not reacting quickly enough to avoid or at least lower the effects of an impact.
The system developed will monitor through proximity sensors and engage a mechanism when doors can be inadvertently sent towards parked cars, garage walls or any other obstruction. Karl Krause, Kiekert’s chief executive officer says the technology has the potential to mitigate millions of irritating an sometimes costly dings and dents and also lower those pesky and costly insurance claims. This could be a neat new idea, though we believe the upfront cost of having such a system will – at least initially – limit its appeal and potential to luxury rides.