back to article Ford: kick your car to open the boot

Reg Hardware Car Week Want to open the boot in the new Ford Kuga? Just give it a kick. The car company today said it will equip the hatchback with a gesture recognition system. Sensors mounted in the rear bumper detect the presence of a hoof being raised and held in close proximity and, if the car is unlocked, will …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Will it recognise certain 'hand gestures' from within the cockpit I wonder

    1. archengel46

      Re: Clever!

      Does that mean the car is also equipped with a rocket launcher for the receiver of the hand gesture?

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Clever!

      No, but you can activate the automatic distress call to summon a tow-truck by beating the bonnet with the branch of a tree.

  2. Kevin Fairhurst

    If they have any sense....

    this will be disabled if the parking brake is deactivated.

    Like I said, if they have any sense......

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: If they have any sense....

      Automatic gearbox = FAIL there.....

  3. Cave Dweller

    Dubious Demonstration

    I get the feeling car ‘uppercuts’ and head trapping looks pretty likely if that diagram is anything to go by.

    1. Steve Renouf

      Re: Dubious Demonstration

      Darn it! You beat me to it. I suspect the kids will have loads of fun with this while mum's trying to get the shopping into the boot too!

  4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    hope that's not the only way

    'coz if my Ford opened like that, the hatch would smack up into my garage roof. There's also a supermarket car park near me where I have to be very careful opening the hatch to avoid the concrete beams.

    Can we hope this means they've run out of ideas for any more superfluous silly gadgets?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: silly gadgets

      Nope. Next they're going to replace the horn button with a keyboard so you can tweet instead of honk.

  5. squilookle
    Thumb Up

    In picture C, the tailgate is definitely going to hit the guy on the head.

    Otherwise, if they can ensure it does not swing open when some idiot runs into the back of you, or some little shits come and kick the bumper while you're sat in the car, then it looks like a very good idea.

    1. Oor Nonny-Muss

      Even in the photo, unless the kicker hops back it looks like the tailgate will hit her as it opens...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's got to be one of the flattest-chested 'her's I've ever seen. Even has a tiny bit of a paunch.

  6. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Excellent idea, really

    but I cannot wait for some fun ford kickin' at the traffic lights...

  7. TeeCee Gold badge

    I'm reminded of an earlier Ford.

    That would be an outtake reel of Clarkson reviewing the original Ford Focus:

    "One of the features on this car is remote activation of the tailgate so, if your hands are full of shopping you can just.....<blip>........<tail door unlatches and moves slightly>........Damn."

    Take #2

    "One of the new features here is remote opening of the tailgate so, if your hands are full of shopping you can......<blip>.....<twitch from tail door again>............Bugger."

    Take #3

    "One of the handier features that Ford have introduced on this model is the ability to open the tailgate from the remote so, if you're at the supermarket and your hands are full of shopping you can just.....<blip>.......<twitch>........YOU USELESS PIECE OF GERMAN SHIT!"

    1. archengel46

      Re: I'm reminded of an earlier Ford.

      Which part of Ford is German?

      1. KjetilS

        Re: I'm reminded of an earlier Ford.

        The factory?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm reminded of an earlier Ford.

        Although Ford is a multinational based in the US, the Focus was designed and engineered by Ford of Europe.

        Ford of Europe has its headquarters and European vehicle design centre in Germany, although the engine design centre is located in the UK. Focuses for the European market are produced at a factory in Germany.

        So quite a lot of the parts of Ford responsible for the Focus are German.

        In fact there is a slight irony to this, given that I know of someone who refused to buy a Focus, thinking it to be of American or British manufacture, and went gone on to purchase a "superior" "German-build-quality" Audi which was, as it transpired, manufactured in Belgium.

      3. Steve Renouf

        Re: I'm reminded of an earlier Ford.

        Ermmm..... Most of them!?! Unless you're in the USofA maybe

  8. Code Monkey
    Thumb Up

    Lots of potential downsides for Ford to guard against, as my astute fellow commentards have listed above but it does strike me as a very pleasing gesture.

  9. TRT Silver badge


    Presumably the ignition is activated by making large circular gestures towards the bottom of the radiator grill?

  10. Lee Dowling Silver badge


    Seriously, this is what Ford R&D money is going on now, is it? Apparently we've given up on making cars people want to buy (e.g. good fuel consumption, low maintenance, etc.) and now make ones that look like something from a Japanese version of Dragon's Den.

    If you have your hands full, put things down - don't go kicking out randomly at a car which puts you off-balance, in the middle of the road, while carrying heavy shopping, and potentially damages your back and foot, while flinging up a metal door into your face. I have a car key (old fashioned concept, I know) and it's never been worth even 10p for me to be able to open my boot like this (and, as pointed out, automated closing of the boot is a recipe for disaster - dog catches head in it, child puts arm out to grab toy at last moment, scalping yourself senseless, etc.).

    Plus, it's just more drain on the battery for no reason.

    Want to shock me into buying a car because it's just such a great concept? Make car doors that *DON'T* damage other cars if you catch the edge. Make a paint-job that doesn't need a respray after a slight scratch. Make an exhaust that isn't hanging precariously in the most vulnerable part of the car for obstacles (e.g. speed humps, potholes, etc.). Make a car whose battery *CAN'T* be run so low that it won't let you start it (e.g. "emergency" single-start backup battery built-in but only activated by a big red switch) or even unlock the doors. Make a car that comes with it's own set of 20ft jump leads in the boot, under the spare tyre, and are permanently connected to the battery (isolation switch, of course) so you can jump-start / be-jump-started without having to lift the bonnet (and while you're at it, make it one of those that "senses" polarity/voltage and won't do anything if you touch the leads together accidentally). Make one that uses a type of tyre that *can't* be punctured, or warns you about alignment/tracking. Make one that has a fuel cap on BOTH sides of the damn car. Make a car bumper that can be replaced without having to spend almost as much as the damn car (and if you can do it with just a screwdriver and not having to get under the car, even better). Make a whole series of cars with different usages (from sports car up to 4x4) that use lots of similar parts so spares are cheap (business issues with this one, I realise, but about bloody time we standardised on tyre sizes / windscreen shapes / mounting brackets / ways to change a bulb etc.). Make a car where add-ons can be purchased and installed with zero expertise (and I don't mean lots of complicated stuff - just things like electric wing-mirrors with a standard mounting that you just remove the old and clip on the new to upgrade, or air-con units that come as a £100 module that you just plug in without having to have a mechanic (there's no reason that can't literally be a "plug-and-play" upgrade), or sunroof (pop out blanking panel, insert sunroof panel), etc. Let students buy a dirt-cheap modular car and buy modules for it as and when they can to get to a higher model. Hell, you could get someone the module as a birthday present, that way.

    There are a billion ideas that could be put into cars. Not all of them are useful, sensible or practical. But for every crackpot idea you put in, I'll find you a sensible idea that's just as cheap and is of more use. (And, yes, some of my ideas will be considered "crackpot" too, but at least I don't claim it to be my job).

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge


      Ever carried an unstable bag that resettled when you picked it up? I don't want to set it down again unless it's in the boot, because the moment it's put down again, it's likely to spill. Better by far it spills in the boot than on the street or parking lot where a passing car runs it over. Furthermore, ever tried putting down your bags IN THE RAIN? The last thing you want is to get typically PAPER bags WET. Can you say, "Bottom falling out?" And what about amputees? How can a one-handed man open the boot when his lone hand is full of stuff?

      1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Re: GIMMICK ALERT!

        Ah, you're from a country that uses the stupid idea of paper bags for groceries, eh? How's that idea looking now? Plastic ones. Handles. If in doubt, use a thing called a trolley and don't carry so damned much in one go.

        And how does a one-handed man drive a car without having to have special adaptations anyway?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: GIMMICK ALERT!

          It's not groceries I was thinking about (and even then you have environmental arguments for brown sacks--not to mention I've seen the corners of 6-packs rip through TRIPLES). Look at the picture in the article. A woman coming from a slew of clothing stores (where paper bags--WITH handles--are still common; this is because they tend to be more spacious, easier on boxes and less likely to mess up folded clothing). If the ground's wet, she doesn't want to put her bags down and soak her new clothes. And if she's coming from a clothing store, odds are good there aren't any trolleys to use (especially in a mall environment). And as for carrying so much at one time, that's how people want to shop: "get it before it's gone" and all that.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: GIMMICK ALERT!

        "How can a one-handed man open the boot when his lone hand is full of stuff?"

        How can a one-legged man kick the car to open the boot?

    2. Steve Ives


      "Apparently we've given up on making cars people want to buy (e.g. good fuel consumption, low maintenance, etc.) and now make ones that look like something from a Japanese version of Dragon's Den."

      Quite. Let's get the people responsible for design, styling, ergonomics etc and put then to work on engine design and the mechanical bits...

      Rememebr that bit from HGTTG when the hair stylists were trying to invent the wheel - "OK - you tell me what colour it should be!".

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Door opening mechanism,..

    as designed by "The Fonz."

  12. SomeoneOutThere...

    the VW passat has this

    so come on ford, keep up!

  13. Mark 'Brain Fart' Berry

    Cougars in Kickers kicking Kuga?

    1. archengel46
      Thumb Up


      Kougars' Kickers kicking Kuga

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Audi A6 Avant already has this

    As per the title, the Audi A6 Avant already has this technology

  15. Wize

    If you have keyless entry... can you tell if your doors have locked?

    1. I think so I am?

      Re: If you have keyless entry...

      on mine the doors auto lock after I walk away and the lights flash.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: If you have keyless entry...

      > can you tell if your doors have locked?

      The car is still there when you get back?

  16. Steve Evans


    So I've got my arms full of heavy shopping, and you want me to stand on one leg and swing my free foot about, not get smacked in the chin by the opening boot lid, all whilst retaining a grip on the shopping?

    What is this, some kind of US Highway Patrol drink drive test?

    How about something useful like speech recognition? I'd love to be able to open the boot with a stream of verbal obscenities.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: So...

      Real style, of course, would involve training a robot monkey butler to open the tailgate for you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So...

        Or training the monkey to do the entire shop for you.

        Or get a wife, same thing I guess.

        Then again, the monkey sounds like far less trouble.

        Anon because I've heard there are females on the internet!

  17. mark 63 Silver badge

    whats the betting they forget :

    IF NOT car = moving

    *gesture code*

    END IF

    1. Steve Evans

      Well if the rumours were correct, they forgot that with the original airbag systems... The idea was that an impact would trigger the airbag and unlock the doors.

      Unfortunately it also worked when the car was parked and locked. So all a thief had to do was whack the front bumper with a 4x2 to trigger the airbag system and the doors would open.

      As I said, it's just a rumour I heard, so it's probably bull. Although I seen enough evidence of stupidity from manufacturers in my time to be left 50/50 on this one!

      1. Wize

        There is a video...

        ...possibly a fake though, of an old lady smacking the front of an idiot's car at a crossing and setting off his airbag.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Basil Fawlty Years Ahead of his Time

    So, Basil Fawlty's assault on the bonnet of his Austin 1100 with half a tree was actually a gesture to open the bonnet to see why it had broken down?

  20. Alan Edwards

    One slight issue...

    It only works if the doors are already unlocked.

    If you have keyless entry, it detects a hand going to open a door or the tailgate and unlocks the doors (to stop it unlocking when you are just walking up to/past it).

    So, you're walking up with your hands full, and have to put everything down and go for the tailgate lock to unlock the doors, then pick all your stuff up and kick the back bumper to open the tailgate.

    @Wize - I'm not sure on the Ford how you know it's locked when you walk away, but it should lock when you're near enough to hear it. On a Renault you hear the locks click and it beeps twice - frightened the life out of my Mum when she went to have a look at the Megane CC hire car I had once...

    @Lee Dowling - the new Focus can be had with little rubber pads that spring out of the doors and stop you denting the car next to you, and at one time you could get a car battery that had emergency start extra capacity - not sure if they are still around.

  21. Frank Bitterlich

    What's new with this feature?

    I had a car (a Ford Taunus, incidentally) in the '80s that needed a kick to open its hatch too. Although I wouldn't call it a "guesture" as a certain amount of force was required for this to work...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm also reminded of an earlier Ford

    My Ford Orion zeta you had to boot the boot to get it to open.

    Same goes for the doors. Which enabled keyless entry before keyless entry had been invented.

    Also, it had stop-start technology, it stalled at every single junction until it warmed up.

    It was a hybrid for a while, running 3 cylinders petrol and 1 oil.

    Then it ran solely as a 3 cylinder engine before Fiat introduced 3 cylinder engines.

    It had Saab-style light dimming when the fusebox blew.

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Re: I'm also reminded of an earlier Ford

      Did the guy who sold it to you describe its one-speed wiper and automatic window, by any chance?

  23. Paratrooping Parrot
    Paris Hilton

    What if a dog lifts its leg to urinate? Would that open the boot?

  24. Richard 120


    Won't Apple sue for patent infringement?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But

      Ford had better avoid calling this iKick or iBoot or something like that

  25. john 112


    Great remind me not to buy this car. Please no follow up stories about what Yahoos figure out they can do to your car or what your car does when the sensors are on the fritz.

  26. evs

    I want the magic tailgate.

    Forget the kick gesture. You'll notice from the illustrations that, in order to make the gesture work on a hatchback for a normally proportioned human, they also had to design a tailgate which would pass through solid matter. That is a far cooler and more useful feature than the kick gimmick.

    1. lawndart

      Re: I want the magic tailgate.

      At first I thought the cziltang brone tailgate would be a marvellous idea.

      Then I realised I have enough trouble with water on the 'gate pouring into the boot as it is without it being dumped in one go all over the contents.

  27. darklord

    ford following again

    As usual ford are following everyone else eventually all the optional tech such as road sign recognition remote sensing gadgetry self parking etc have all been about for years on german marques such as vw group,BMw and merc. its just the price for this tech has come down in price as par the course and now ford think its cheap enough to fit.

    Fail when the same specced mondeo is the same price as a 3 series bmw or passat. and yet is under powered and less economical than the mondeo.

    I like the idea of ford and there cars drive very well. but not at the same price as a bmw. and no i dont want the bottom of the range model thank you. Ill take an equivalent.

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