New Technology from Ford Spots Parking Spots

Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. says it has devel­oped a car that can sniff out open park­ing spaces ahead — and then park itself in that space, even with­out a dri­ver behind the wheel.

No, you can’t buy one yet – but you can get a glimpse at the tech­nol­o­gy.

Ford Motor Co. says it has devel­oped a car that can sniff out open park­ing spaces ahead — and then park itself in that space, even with­out a dri­ver behind the wheel.

The Dear­born automak­er intends to show off the fea­ture today to jour­nal­ists at its prov­ing ground in Bel­gium. Ford has not announced plans to include the tech­nol­o­gy in spe­cif­ic vehi­cles, but said it will take a seri­ous look at imple­ment­ing it in the future.

Ford’s tech­nol­o­gy intro­duc­tion is the lat­est exam­ple of one-upman­ship among automak­ers, who are rac­ing to cre­ate pro­duc­tion-ready autonomous vehi­cles as ear­ly as the end of the decade. While sev­er­al automak­ers already offer cars that can park them­selves, some — includ­ing Ford and Vol­vo — are test­ing more advanced self-park­ing sys­tems.

Here’s how Ford’s Ful­ly Assist­ed Park­ing Aid works: Ultra­son­ic sen­sors can detect an open par­al­lel, diag­o­nal or per­pen­dic­u­lar park­ing space ahead while a vehi­cle is trav­el­ing up to 18 miles per hour, with enough lead time that the dri­ver doesn’t over­shoot the space.

The dri­ver can then brake, shift to neu­tral, and press and hold the Ful­ly Assist­ed Park­ing Aid but­ton in the car. At that point, park­ing-aid soft­ware will maneu­ver the vehi­cle into the park­ing space by tak­ing con­trol of the steer­ing, for­ward and reverse motion, brak­ing and guid­ance. Dis­en­gag­ing the but­ton will over­ride the park­ing process.

If the park­ing spot is real­ly nar­row — with lit­tle room to open the car door and exit — the dri­ver can get out of the car and guide the whole park­ing process by remote con­trol.

 

 

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