Say good­bye to costly dings with ‘i-pro­tect’

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

THEIR idea will not stop the over­loaded mom in the big For­tuner from ac­ci­den­tally bang­ing her door into your car, but it will stop your door from do­ing unto her as she did to you.

The idea for a new car door brake sys­tem, called “i-pro­tect”, was de­vel­oped by Ger­man high school pupils and will next be made by Kiek­ert, a leader in automotive clo­sure sys­tem tech­nol­ogy.

Stu­dents at Cologne’s Erzbischoe­fliche Liebfrauen­schule, Ger­many re­cently won first place in a “busi­ness@school” com­pe­ti­tion spon­sored by the Bos­ton Con­sult­ing Group.

One out of ev­ery three side-door latches world­wide is based on a prod­uct de­sign de­vel­oped by Kiek­ert, which group spon­sored the stu­dent team in the com­pe­ti­tion and will fur­ther de­velop and in­dus­tri­alise their in­no­va­tion.

“Our work with busi­ness@school, as well as our part­ner­ship pro­grammes with univer­si­ties through­out the world, helps us main­tain our po­si­tion as the tech­nol­ogy leader in automotive lock­ing sys­tems,” said Dr Karl Krause, Kiek­ert’s CEO.

The in­no­va­tive “brake sys­tem” built into Kiek­ert’s i-pro­tect sys­tem will stop car doors from slam­ming into parked cars, garage walls and other ob­sta­cles and po­ten­tially could elim­i­nate mil­lions of ir­ri­tat­ing and of­ten costly dings and dents.

Kiek­ert ad­mits their new sen­sor-based sys­tem will not stop other peo­ple from open­ing their door onto your car, but said it will re­duce costly in­sur­ance claims by au­to­mat­i­cally stop­ping car doors from strik­ing other ob­jects as they are be­ing opened.

The Cologne stu­dent group will re­tain patent rights to its ba­sic, award-win­ning tech­nol­ogy as part of the “busi­ness@school” pro­gramme and its part­ner­ship with Kiek­ert.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The door ding stop­pers, (from left): Sev­erin Luhr (17), Leona Schultz (17), Marisa Jain (17), Karl-Bernd Bur­bach (teacher), Laura Krieglstein (16), Vin­cent Gram­lich (15).

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