If the car lost power, supercapacitors provided backup electricity to let motorists open the doors. With fewer components, SmartLatch doors could be thinner and lighter.
The doors also automatically unlocked seconds after a crash.
There were aesthetic gains, too. Locking noises were eliminated to produce a quiet and smooth operation inside and out.
Total benefits included weight savings of up to 11 percent from standard latches, cost savings of up to 8 percent, improved safety, a reduced number of components to manage, sound quality improvement and the flexibility to be used in any type of car.