Kiekert says it has completed its prototype vehicle with electromechanical function, i-protect to prevent car doors from unintentionally striking nearby obstacles.

The idea for the door protection system originated from a group of students from the Erzbischöfliche Liebfrauenschule in Cologne and the auto supplier presented i-protect to the public at this year's Munich Management Colloquium.

I-protect features a sensor system for environment recognition and a 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 nearby.

The i-protect stopping mechanism works at the door's arrester and stops the door electromagnetically when required – centimetres away from the obstacle. I-protect recognises static objects of any size or shape within the door's swing range.

As the retention force used by the system is mechanical and not electrical, it is also energy efficient, maintains Kiekert. Electricity is used only to move and brake the door.

Also, the position-dependent retention force and an infinitely variable door stay make exiting the vehicle convenient for the end user.

"We had a number of demanding hurdles to overcome in configuring our i-protect prototype vehicle," said Kiekert CEO, Karl Krause. "The sensors had to be positioned so 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.

"The next step is for Kiekert to develop this next-generation i-protect technology for integration into a diverse array of vehicle concepts."