2013 Ford Escape Debuts Hands-Free Liftgate Using Motion-Sensing Technology

November 2, 2011

When the all-new 2013 Ford Escape small SUV debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show in two weeks, it will showcase a handy feature that many busy parents can appreciate: a hands-free power liftgate.

Who among us hasn’t fumbled in purse or pocket looking for the key fob to open the trunk while also carting bags of items from the grocery or department store, nursery, garden store or various items for family or recreational use? Something inevitably drops.

We might even utter a few choice words under our breath.

Now, Ford has a better idea. The solution, says the automaker, utilizes motion-sensing technology. You know, the kind the kids are familiar with from video games like Xbox Kinect and other gaming systems that work with gestures.

How the Escape liftgate works

Okay, sounds good, but how does it work if you don’t need a key in your hand that you have to press? Simple.

Just approach the rear of the Escape with the key fob in your pocket, and wave your foot gently under the rear bumper. This activates the system and the liftgate opens automatically. It also works the same way to close the liftgate.

Of course, as our sister publication TheCarConnection is quick to point out, be ready to step back as soon as you make this kicking motion or you’ll risk being bopped in the face, head or torso by the rising or lowering liftgate.

Check out the video below, though, which seems to indicate there’s sufficient delay to allow for stepping back in time.

As for the 2013 Ford Escape’s availability, it will go on sale next spring and offer three four-cylinder engines, including two EcoBoost engines, a 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter.

Ford expects the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine to deliver better fuel economy than larger four-cylinder engines from competitors, while the 2.0-liter EcoBoost should provide better fuel economy and performance than competitors’ V-6 engines.

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