Hyundai Applies for Patent on Sliding Gullwing Doors

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Gullwing doors look great on the Tesla Model X, but for Hyundai, the feature just isn’t enough. The automaker has filed a patent for gullwing doors that can also slide open.

In its patent drawings, Hyundai shows a large, van-like vehicle with gullwing, sliding doors. Why? Because the automaker wants to make it easier for you to load your camping gear in and out of your van.

“The RV as a vehicle for leisure, is larger in loading space and interior space than a general sedan, and has an advantage in that [it] can be used for various purposes such as camping and leisure,” the patent application reads. “However, since equipment for enjoying camping or outdoor sports is numerous and varied, the loading space is insufficient.” Gullwing doors to the rescue.

The patent continues: “If a door of the RV is largely opened like a wing body of a truck, the sense of openness can be significantly increased at the time of loading or unloading a large freight.” Looking at the diagrams, it appears the gullwing doors come with a unique advantage; they open up the entire side of the vehicle so even back row passengers can exit unencumbered.

As you can imagine, certain situations make gullwing doors inconvenient. For instance, another car may park too close, preventing the doors from swinging out and up. In those cases, passengers can exit via traditional sliding doors.

And the feature isn’t just possible on RVs. In the patent titled “Gull Wing Door With Slide Door for Vehicle,” Hyundai uses the term “vehicle” to include everything from SUVs, buses, trucks, and even commercial vehicles and watercraft. Vehicles referred to in the patent also include hybrids, EVs, and hydrogen-powered vehicles, the patent specifies.

Even though Hyundai has filed for this patent, there’s a good chance the automaker will decide not to use the technology on a production vehicle. But the idea is fun to imagine. Gullwinged Kia Sedona, anyone?

Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office