Ford Patents Car Doors That Open When You Tell Them To

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Auto manufacturers have been busy cramming as much high-tech functionality into their vehicles as possible lately. They’re particularly keen on voice assistants.Ford’s been using them for quite a while. Cars and trucks that feature SYNC are ready to take all kinds of commands from drivers. SYNC will adjust climate controls, switch up your soundtrack and crack it or dial it down, make phone calls, and help you navigate to your destination.Those are all things that happen when you’re inside the car, of course. Ford doesn’t see any reason why you should have to wait to get in and sit down before you can enjoy the convenience of a voice-enabled vehicle.Ford wants to take a page out of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (or Loony Tunes’ Ali Baby Bunny, if that’s more your speed) and let you say “open sesame” to open your doors. Maybe not those exact words, but Ford’s  freshly-issued patent does describe being able to set up your preferred command in record mode.The patent is entitled “active door operation based on voice commands.” The setup seems simple enough. There’s an audio sensor mounted on the outside of the vehicle that can listen for commands. The door has a “power assist device” integrated into its hinges that pops the door gently open when the appropriate command is issued.Now, you can’t just allow that power assist device to fire the door open willy-nilly if you want to avoid door dings and injuries. That’s precisely why Ford has equipped the door with sensors that tell it when it’s about to collide with another object.Why pop open the doors with your voice? For one thing, it’s not really the best place to apply Ford’s wave-your-foot-to-open tech since the door would swing right at your leg. Beyond that, I couldn’t come up with a really compelling use case at first… then I remembered all the times I’ve set two cups of coffee on my roof so I could get my door open.You’ve probably got some better examples. Feel free to post some in the comments!last_img

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