How Linear Actuators are Used in Automobiles


A wide range of linear actuators are commonly used in cars, trucks, and other automobiles to provide functionality, a sense of luxury, or an element of style. It is commonplace now a days to see new models of vehicles with more and more automated features. It’s not just the high end vehicles, lower end cars and SUVs are adding these features too, like hands free powered tailgates. Although, luxury sports cars and SUVs are adding even more extravagant features to their newer models. Many of these features are only made possible by the use of linear actuators to provide the linear motion needed.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV

Commercial Uses

Out of all of the uses of linear actuators in automobiles, the most common automated feature is powered tailgates. From luxury SUVs to ordinary vans, it seems every new model has added a self-opening and closing tailgate as they are extremely convenient, especially when your hands are full. These tailgates will often make use of a proximity sensor and/or remote control to allow for hands-free opening and closing of your tailgate. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV in the video below shows off these self-opening tailgates as well as some additional automated features that make use of linear actuators and other motors, including retractable seats and mini table.

More luxurious vehicles will also use linear actuators to have self-opening and closing side doors that are controlled by a push of a button. Sports cars can also use linear actuators in retractable spoilers and air-brakes for both style and function. While convertibles use linear actuators in conjunction with other motors to automate the opening and closing of hardtops. Automated features are not just for luxury and family vehicles though, they are also used in pickup trucks to provide convenience and functionality. New trucks may come with automated tailgates that make use of linear actuators to open and close them, while aftermarket tonneau cover lifts and automated retractable tonneau covers allow you to both cover and have easy access to the bed of the pickup.

Tonneau Cover Lift

DIY Projects

Using Firgelli Automations’ expansive library of linear actuators, you can accomplish a wide range of do it yourself vehicle automation projects. If your current vehicle lacks an automated feature, like the ones above, that you desire or if you’re the type that wants to make your own, you can use our products to help you complete your next project. Some of the projects you can undertake are but not limited to:

  • Self-Opening & Closing Engine Hood
  • Self-Opening & Closing Tailgate
  • Automated Side Doors
  • Automated Tonneau Cover Lift
  • Self-retracting Tonneau Cover

For most of these projects, you can make use of our Linear Actuator Calculator to determine a proper linear actuator and mounting configuration as many of these projects will require you to rotate the load (i.e. tailgate, door, etc.) about a hinge. Outside of our selection of linear actuators, you can also make use of our many control systems options. If you need to make use of two parallel actuators, you can utilize our FA-SYNC-2 Synchronous Control Board to ensure your linear actuators move in step with the same speed irrespective of load. To control your project, you can make use of our wide range of remote controls, switches, and microcontrollers. With our products, there are much more vehicle automation projects you can undertake than what is listed above. For the inventive out there, maybe your project will even be the first.

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