It's been over a year since Ford has incorporated foot-activated tailgates into their cars, and we're hoping by now some of you have direct experience with them. (The bulk of Core77 editorial staff is a bike-riding, subway-catching, sneaker-treading lot.) Ford designers' simple observation that many people approach their trunk with both hands full, and their incorporation of a feature that pops the trunk open by waving your foot under the bumper, is a welcome one. But for those of you actually living with one of these cars, how is it in practice?
For those of you who've not yet heard of this, the way it works is a sensor on the car detects when someone with the key fob on their person is in proximity. It then enables a laser sensor under the rear bumper to read when a foot breaks the beam, and that opens or closes the trunk. Observe:
But if we look at this less-slickly edited video...
...we see the user must stand quite close to get their foot under the bumper, and must then back up to get out of the way of the swinging door. This is fine for most of us able-bodied--and certainly an improvement over having to bear-hug your package in an effort to get a hand free--but I'm wondering how this goes over with, say, an elderly person. Anyone with a 2013 Escape, C-Max or Kuga care to sound off?
We're also hoping to see other automakers follow suit and create hands-free interfaces of their own designs. We like seeing the stage of design evolution where a lot of different-thinking bodies throw their ideas at the wall to see what sticks.