Many people think that parallel parking is the most stressful part of a driving test, but thanks to Ford, that may all change in a couple of years.
On Tuesday, December 29, 2008, Ford Motor Co. announced its self-parking technology, which will debut as an option on the 2010 Lincoln MKS sedan as well as the seven-passenger Lincoln MKT luxury crossover vehicle. According to Ford Motor Co., drivers can “sit back and let your car parallel park itself, without a single scratch or ding to your bumper.”
Although this technology is not necessarily safety technology for car accident prevention, our firm’s auto accident attorneys support the development of new features to ease the driving experience for motorists. If it prevents DUI accidents, car accidents, and pain and suffering, then our lawyers are all for it.
The self-parking technology that Ford developed uses ultrasonic sensors on both the front and the rear of the car, along with an electronic power steering system to angle and guide the car into a snug parking space – all just by pressing a simple button that says “Self-Park.”
Some people may be saying that Ford is not the first company to introduce a self-parking car. While that is true, Ford is introducing the first of its kind, a much more versatile self-parking system. It is the only system that allows for self-parking on a slope.
In that sense the ease of self-parking also comes with an added advantage, proper parallel parking on slopes, which may potentially prevent a ghastly car accident caused by an improperly parked car rolling down a hill.
Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, also boasts of how drivers will never need to touch the car’s steering wheel even once during the self-parking, as opposed to other auto manufacturers’ attempts as self-parking.
“This one-touch function will be much safer to use and less intimidating,” he said. “It’s all part of our strategy to introduce smart technology to a vehicle that will make our lives easier.”
Another feature added to Ford’s self-parking technology places it not only in the ease-of-driving category, but also in the safety technology category. The ultrasonic sensor system monitors blind spots and notifies the driver with a warning indicator light in the side view mirror if possible incoming traffic is detected to be approaching. In that case, the driver can regain control of the steering wheel and avoid the incoming traffic in order to avoid a possible car accident and make a second attempt at self-parking.
This parking assistance and other new technology will be featured at the North American International Auto Show in January, and will be available in mid-2009 models.
An added advantage of this system that is largely overlooked is the fact that power steering systems use the car battery instead of hydraulic pump systems to navigate the wheels, thus improving fuel economy and reducing carbon emissions.
The Ford Motor Co. plans to fit 90% of its Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury cars with electrical power steering and self-parking systems by 2012. Maybe by then, driving tests will be easier. When the evaluator asks you to demonstrate parallel parking, you will just need to know where the “Self-Park” button is in your car.
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