Ultrasonic Door Sensor

Opening the car door at the wrong time could be a thing of the past. A Dennerlein-Meeker study showed that 16% of bicycle accidents are caused by hitting car doors swung open as they try and pass. It happens all the time, you open the door only to be clipped by a cyclist or car. With automobile accidents happening on an ever increasing bases some are trying their best to make driving a little safer for everyone.

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In a research facility at the Technical University of Munich, engineers have teamed up with BMW to try and create a viable sensor that can warn or prevent drivers from opening the door if there is a foreseeable threat. The key to the project is the sensor itself.

Trying to create a smart sensor is not an easy task. The secret is in the development of the ultrasonic sensor technology. The claims are that the sensor can differentiate between foreseeable dangers and emergency escape situations. It would awful if the car door wouldn’t open if you submerged in water for example.

BMW's Michael Graf is spearheading the project and is optimistic that the technology could be ready for integration into their 2010 model vehicles. If by chance BMW doesn't pick up the technology it could essentially be sold to other car manufacturers. So who knows where they will end up.

If ultrasonic sensor prove to be practical, other designs could be developed from its use. We might see them integrated to prevent hard slams to the fingers. Now wouldn’t that be nice.

Image Source: Richard Masoner.

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