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C-Magic: Wave foot, open gate

Automotive News reports on a new automatic tailgate opener being introduced by Ford for its C-Max.

Automotive News
Ford C-Max
Arms full of stuff? Wave your foot and the C-Max liftgate pops open. Ford

First came key fobs that let drivers unlock doors with one click. Then fobs automatically unlocked the door--and started the car when drivers pushed a button on the instrument panel.

Now, Ford engineers have taken the hands-free campaign one step further. They have solved the nuisance of how to open a vehicle's rear gate when your hands are full of groceries.

The gate pops open when the driver, with key fob in a pocket, waves a foot under a sensor in the rear bumper.

Ford will tout the feature--which it calls an industry first and plans to add to many vehicles worldwide--on its seven-seat C-Max. The small minivan, which will be shown at the Detroit auto show in January, goes on sale in the United States late next year or early 2012.

A version of the minivan, which lacks the rear-gate opener, is already on sale in Europe. The C-Max shares a platform with the redesigned 2012 Ford Focus.

(Source: Automotive News)