Today’s Modern Car Door Handles Require Modern Switch Technology

By Owen Camden | August 07, 2017

A door handle now harnesses sophisticated technology that goes beyond merely making it easy to get in or out of a vehicle.

As we explored previously, a blend of consumer demand and elaborate automotive controls has made it critical for designers and engineers to pay greater attention to the components chosen and how they can reinforce the overall brand identity of their vehicles. Door handles are no exception; some brands, like the Cadillac XLR Coupe, have electronic handles that require a light tap for the doors to automatically pop open. Other brands, such as BMW, prefer to eliminate the door handle completely from its Z1 series in favor of a push-button system that lowers the window into the door while simultaneously dropping the door into the sill.

With so many brands opting for doors that operate with either push-button or other remote systems, the right selection of switches that power these functions is needed. Designers need to feel confident failure won’t occur – i.e., the door becomes jammed and will no longer open.

Automotive engineers must select switches that will withstand the elements, ones that are chosen again and again by OEMs for their superior reliability. Sealed switches, such as C&K’s KSC series, provide protection against harsh environments, including rain, humidity, snow, sudden temperature change, or other outdoor elements that can cause a door handle’s technology to malfunction.

Today’s door handles are also paired with modern key fobs allowing users to open and lock a car door remotely. Handles are made with built-in antennas that receive the signal to release or lock the latch when prompted by the fob. C&K’s line of miniature tactile switches are the perfect size to fit compactly inside key fobs and door handles, and are rugged enough that they don’t wear out from constant use or harsh weather conditions cars must endure.  

It’s clear that today’s automotive companies are pushing the envelope to create the truly unique brand experiences their tech-savvy drivers now expect. As the demand for sophisticated automotive experiences increases, the need for C&K’s high-quality and customizable switches becomes more imperative to power those experiences.