Yaely007
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:21 pm

Hands free trunk release

Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:31 pm

Is it possible to add hands free trunk release so I would be able to wave my leg at the bottom to have the trunk fully open up?

eNate
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Hands free trunk release

Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:50 pm

I think you'll face two challenges.

First, I haven't seen anybody add an automatic lift gate opener to their i3. My Ford Flex has its in a third strut that's really a shrouded jack screw. My Audi allroad had a clever pair of hidden motors in the roof liner. I can't fathom how to retrofit either of those styles of systems into the i3. I think the tailgate is too heavy to lift with pneumatic struts alone.

Secondly, the kick sensor would be pretty simple to fashion using the part from another car and connecting it to an Arduino that triggers the tailgate release button. That would take care of the security aspect as it would need to sense the remote in proximity. But I'd assume it would need to be hardwired directly to the 12 volt so as to be active 24/7, and I wonder if the constant electrical draw would be acceptable to our delicate little battery, especially if it's sitting for a few days between uses. Maybe a voltage cut-off would be necessary.

That's my 2¢. I'd love an automatic liftgate.
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jadnashuanh
Posts: 5062
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Hands free trunk release

Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:51 pm

When BMW designed the i3, they said in their press that they sweated every gram to try to keep the vehicle as light as possible and to maximize range...that's one reason why they didn't include electric seat controls...I can't see them designing that feature in, and I agree, I don't think it would be easy. That doesn't mean it couldn't be done, but it's almost always comes down to how much do you want to spend?
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

eNate
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Hands free trunk release

Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:02 pm

jadnashuanh wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:51 pm

.., they said in their press that they sweated every gram to try to keep the vehicle as light as possible ....


...and yet the included the heavy-as-snot glass-lined tailgate. Which I love, BTW -- a very unique aesthetic that looks awesome and sounds / feels fantastic and solidly built when closing. So don't get me wrong, but that detail remains a head scratcher.
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Yaely007
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:21 pm

Re: Hands free trunk release

Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:35 pm

Both of you provided valid points. I guess it’s not as easy as I thought. I guess that is why they didn’t make the rear windows to open automatically . More weight ?

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5062
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Hands free trunk release

Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:29 pm

THey did things like mould pockets in the CFRP frame to accommodate wiring harnesses so it didn't require clamps and extra fasteners. Anyway, adding a motor and sensor, while possible, won't be particularly easy or cheap. It's one thing to add a feature that was an option, but not present, it's another to engineer a solution to an existing vehicle that wasn't.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

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