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Jaguar Land Rover testing automatic car doors with help from a veteran

The doors, while not necessarily new in the industry, could provide a big mobility boost.

Doors that open and close themselves aren't just playthings for the rich, although most current iterations of automatic doors are precisely that. JLR is showing the tech in a different light.
Jaguar Land Rover

Some automakers have soft-close doors that don't need to be slammed. Others have doors that will open or close themselves, and that's the space Jaguar Land Rover is currently investigating.

Jaguar Land Rover is currently testing automatic car doors to offer a dash of extra mobility to those who may need it. The doors are capable of opening themselves when a key gets within a certain range of the car. Not only can this aid those with mobility issues, but it can offer a helping hand to a person trying to carry something large, like a car seat, to a vehicle.

Closing the doors is as easy as pressing an overhead button in the vehicle, no reaching required. The infotainment system can also display the status of each door and, if required, open or close them at will without any additional reaching. The doors can also close as the owner walks away from the vehicle after parking.

Doors that open themselves run the risk of hitting things, so JLR threw some tech in the mix to prevent that. Ultrasonic sensors on the doors can detect objects and stop the door's movement to protect from dents and paint chips. Tesla already has this system in production on the Model X, which uses the same kind of sensors to prevent its automatic doors from opening into objects.

To help trial its automatic doors, Jaguar Land Rover brought on Mark Ormrod, a former Royal Marine and triple amputee with a gold medal in the Invictus Games. Ormrod will provide vital feedback as Jaguar Land Rover considers how to expand this technology. The automaker says it "see[s] the technology as relevant to all future vehicles," so these doors may pop up on a production model before you know it.