Breakthrough in Door Protection Systems – Kiekert Presents “i-protect” Prototypes
03/23/2016 Kiekert AG, Heiligenhaus Kiekert AG, the technology leader in automotive locking systems, has reached the next milestone: In the space of six months, Kiekert has completed its innovative prototype vehicle with the electromechanical door protection function, i-protect. The forward-looking i-protect technology will prevent car doors from unintentionally striking nearby obstacles and contribute to even greater safety and convenience in traffic situations. The idea for the novel door protection system originates from a group of students from the Erzbischöfliche Liebfrauenschule in Cologne. It was with this idea that the students won the Germany-wide competition “business@school”, run by management consultancy company, Boston Consulting Group. Kiekert supported the development of the project as part of a global trend scouting process. The auto supplier presented i-protect to the public at this year’s Munich Management Colloquium on March 15 and 16.
i-protect features a modern sensor system for environment recognition and an innovative door-brake system, which work together to ensure collision avoidance. The vehicle electronics evaluate the signal and send the stop command directly to the door check as soon as an obstacle is detected close to the door. The i-protect stopping mechanism works at the door’s arrester and stops the door electromagnetically when required – precisely and just centimeters away from the obstacle. i-protect recognizes static objects of any size or shape within the door’s swing range. Because the retention force used by the system is mechanical and not electrical, it is also exceptionally energy efficient. Electricity is used only to move and brake the door. Plus, the position-dependent retention force and an infinitely variable door stay make exiting the vehicle even more comfortable and convenient for the end user. “We had a number of demanding hurdles to overcome in configuring our i-protect prototype vehicle. The sensors had to be positioned so that objects of varying sizes and surfaces areas can be identified. There have been several different approaches to door protection systems, but none with technology comparable to our i-protect,” says Kiekert CEO Dr. Karl Krause. The next step is for Kiekert to develop this next-generation i-protect technology for integration into a diverse array of vehicle concepts. With i-protect, Kiekert is once again doing pioneering work in the implementation of door systems that take road safety and comfort to a whole new level.