Future owners of the Ford 2013 Escape can open the liftgate on the back of their vehicle with a small kicking motion. As awesome as that sounds for when you have your hands full (as pictured), I’m sure you can imagine many more scenarios where that idea could go horribly wrong. Ford representatives themselves provide a few – a dog running under the vehicle, or a ball bouncing toward the liftgate. Those representatives also assure everyone that there’s nothing to worry about – the liftgate will only open when you want it to open.
No, Ford hasn’t perfected artificial intelligence. The trick is that the liftgate will only open if two conditions are met – it senses the kicking motion, and the key fob is within a certain range of the liftgate. The presence of the key fob breaks a small electrical field around the latch of the liftgate, allowing the door to open without you having to put down all the boxes or bags you’re carrying. And, just for good measure, the same motion will close the door, as well.
With their 2013 line of vehicles, Ford is making a hard push to be seen as the automobile manufacturer of the future. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks like they’re making a decent argument.