Ford’s Escape Goes Hands Free

Posted by at 9:28 am on November 2, 2011

This month, Ford is introducing its all-new Escape SUV featuring a segment-first hands-free power liftgate that opens with a simple kicking gesture under the rear bumper and without the need to fumble for a key.

The new Escape, which makes its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 16, will be the first SUV to use gesture-based technology – similar to that found in video games – to open the rear liftgate. A gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper activates the system and raises the liftgate. The same kicking motion closes the liftgate as well. The video below shows the liftgate in action.

“The hands-free power liftgate is yet another innovative Ford technology that makes customers’ lives easier,” said Jason Sprawka, Escape brand manager. “New Escape owners will be able to load their vehicle without ever having to set packages or gear down.”

The hands-free liftgate uses two sensors in the rear bumper to detect a person’s shin and kicking motion. The system safeguards against accidental opening by being programmed to open with leg motions – not when an animal runs under the car or when the vehicle hits a bump on the road.

The liftgate height can be programmed or adjusted manually to meet specific customer needs. The hands-free liftgate builds on Ford’s Intelligent Access push-button start. It allows customers to unlock and start their vehicles without having to take the key out of their pocket or purse.

More About the Escape

The all-new Escape goes on sale next spring, building on the success of Ford’s highly popular small SUV. First introduced in 2000, nearly 2 million Escapes have been sold.

The new 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine is expected to deliver better fuel economy than competitors’ larger four-cylinder engines. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost is expected to offer better fuel economy than competitors’ V6 engines, while delivering unsurpassed performance compared to those larger six-cylinder powertrains. The vehicle will be offered with three fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines, including 1.6- and 2.0-liter versions of Ford’s popular EcoBoost engines.

The Escape will be built at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky, where the company has invested $600 million to retool the facility and is in the process of adding 3,100 jobs to launch two new shifts of Escape production by the end of next year.

1 Comment for “Ford’s Escape Goes Hands Free”

  1. […] new Escape, which makes its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 16, will be the first […] Takes On Tech Tags: Escape, Ford’s, Free, Goes, Hands [+] Share & Bookmark • Twitter • […]

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