Here come the cars that parallel park themselves
31st Dec 2008 | 15:48
Courtesy of Ford, adding assisted steering tech to more cars in 2009
If you are afraid of parallel parking, then the latest news of Ford's new Active Parking Assist technology will make your day.
Ford's Active Parking Assist could well become optional on cars throughout its US line-up in the near future after it makes its first appearance on commercially available cars on the Lincoln MKS and MKT as an option available in mid-2009.
Wired notes that, "unlike Lexus' all-inclusive system, Active Parking Assist only controls the steering of the car through sensors and the electronic power steering system."
Drivers ceding control
This means that the driver still controls the accelerator and the brake, "which means poorly-trained parkers will still have to send their significant others onto the sidewalk to shout, "You've got plenty of room! Back! Back! Wait, wait... Stop! Stop!"
Ford itself calls its idiot-proof Active Parking Assist a "major leap forward" from Lexus' camera-based system.
Steering assisted future
Ford claims 90% of its cars will be fitted with standard electronic power steering tech by 2012.
"As we use advanced technology like Electric Power Assisted Steering to improve the fuel efficiency across our vehicle lineup, we have the opportunity to introduce new comfort and convenience innovations like Active Parking Assist," says Ford chief chassis and steering engineeer Ali Jammoul.
"This is technology not for the sake of technology, but technology designed to meet the needs and wants of customers."