Ford will make dents and scratches caused by its opened car doors striking a vehicle parked beside it a thing of the past by introducing a new technology in the Ford Focus in 2012.
The door-edge protector, a system designed by Ford engineers in Cologne, Germany, works automatically by having a protective flap concealed in the door move into position a fraction of a second after the door opens, acting as a buffer that prevents damage to paint and body work.
"The door-edge protector will be one of those features that we think will make customers say 'Why didn't someone think of this sooner?'" said Matthias Tensing, a product development system engineer with Ford. "It will help parents with children in the backseat or anyone who needs to park in a tight spot."
According to Ford, its door-edge protector helps prevent damage by fully extending into its protective position at a door opening gap of less than 15cm. The feature defends against more than 90 percent of variously positioned obstructions to the front doors and 85 percent at the rear doors.
Offering maximum protection with minimal impact on weight and without affecting existing door mechanisms or side impact performance, the door-edge protector retracts in just 60 milliseconds to allow for doors to be shut. It also includes a clutch mechanism that prevents damage if the flap is obstructed as it retracts. The system also uses a special rubber compound that can withstand thousands of usage cycles and creates a minimum of noise as it springs into position. The protective flap is quickly and easily replaced by heavy users, with the unit simply clipping into place.
With the Philippines' tight parking spaces in office buildings and outdoor parking lots, this kind of system will surely be helpful. The only question is if Ford Philippines will add this feature to the all-new Focus once it's sold here.