By David Ponce

Proving that good ideas can happen even in unlikely places, Ford recently unveiled a pretty awesome feature on the SUV Kiga: a rear hatch door that opens with a kick, so you don’t have to put the groceries down. No, not Russian style, break-the-darn-door-down kicking, but a light foot motion that is detected by a carefully calibrated sensor. It only works if you have the key fob on your person, so it’s not like a random passerby could do it. And Ford spent six months at the ” Human Machine Interface laboratory, tweaking the system with the help of volunteer kickers that tested the motion sensors. They ensured that the system distinguishes between actual kicks and other motions – say a pothole in the road – so that the tailgate doesn’t inadvertently pop open when you least expect it.”

Oh and the Kuga is a European car. This feature has been available on the Ford Escape since last November. Did you know? The news here is that “Ford engineers re-calibrated the system for Europe to ensure it would still work if a tow bar had been fitted – as this is an option frequently chosen by European Kuga customers.” Still, it’s the first we hear of it. So there you have it.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ Gizmag ]


  1. That is a horrible idea. If your car gets either bit dirty or the weather is wet, or if you live in a northern area and it is winter time, it becomes absolutely useless without getting your leg/pants dirty. The rear of a car is generally the part that ends up the dirtiest.I guess it would be great if you never drove your car anywhere.

    Then again I could be wrong.

  2. you don’t actually kick the car. You just swipe your foot, and the door opens. Yes it is susceptible to mud, but all back up sensors are. How many people complain that their back up sensors are too dirty to back up in the winter? None that I really hear. This uses the same system. And we test it in MICHIGAN. Where driving around in the winter looks like you ran over Lots wife. Salt and mud is rampant, and it still works amazing.

    Good idea Ford!