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At the launch of the new Tesla Model X SUV, the company demonstrated the car’s falcon wing doors and gave a few more details about how it operates.

In the video above, from the car’s official launch, the Model X is wedged tightly between an Audi Q7 and an American Honda Odyssey. Despite the limited room on either side, the Model X’s falcon wing doors are able to open.

According to Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, the company developed a new type of ultrasonic sensor that delivers sonar capability through metal and avoids the need for a puck-shaped device, helping to smooth out the car’s controversial aesthetics.


The sensors, as well as the doors’ double-hinged nature, allow the car’s falcon-wing portals to adjust their opening arc to accommodate both a lack of space to the sides, as well as a lack of space above the vehicle. As Musk was at pains to point, traditional gull-wing doors are single hinged.

Tesla claims that the doors require just 30cm of space on the sides to open, and they did seem to cope quite well with the throngs of people on the stage after the official launch. The company has yet to state what the minimum opening height of the doors are.