Ford has made parallel parking a breeze with the new Active Park Assist feature. The new Active Park Assist helps drivers parallel park with the touch of a button and without ever touching the steering wheel. Active Park Assist is now available on the 2010 Escape and Flex. Active Park Assist uses a ultrasonic-based sensing system and Electric Power Steering (EPS) to steer the vehicle into a parking spot. EPS also improves fuel economy up to 5 percent, while reducing CO2 emissions and enhancing performance, compared with traditional steering. The often stressful and frustrating task of parallel parking soon will be as easy as pressing a button, thanks to this exclusive new technology from Ford.
Active Park Assist uses an ultrasonic-based sensing system and Electric Power Steering (EPS) to position the vehicle for parallel parking, calculate the optimal steering angle, and quickly steer the vehicle into a parking spot. “With the touch of a button, drivers can parallel park quickly, easily and safely without ever touching the steering wheel,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development. “This is another example of exclusive Ford technology that makes the driving experience easier and more enjoyable for customers.”
Active Park Assist system uses sensors on the front and rear of the vehicle to guide the vehicle into a parking space. The technology is a major leap forward in speed and ease of use compared with the camera-reliant systems offered by competitors, including a video camera-based system offered by Lexus. Ford’s system requires less driver interface and reduces the risk of selecting a parking spot that is too tight. Ford’s Active Park Assist also works in downhill parking situations, unlike competing systems.
How Active Park Assist works:
- The driver activates the system by pressing an instrument panel button, which activates the ultrasonic sensors to measure and identify a feasible parallel parking space.
- The system then prompts the driver to accept the system assistance to park.
- The steering system then takes over and steers the car into the parking space hands-free. The driver still shifts the transmission and operates the gas and brake pedals.
- A visual and/or audible driver interface advises the driver about the proximity of other cars, objects and people and provides instructions.
- While the steering is all done automatically, the driver remains responsible for safe parking and can interrupt the system by grasping the steering wheel.
Active Park Assist is enabled by Ford’s advanced EPS technology. In addition to helping with parallel parking, EPS improves fuel economy up to 5 percent, while reducing CO2 emissions and enhancing steering performance compared with traditional hydraulic powered-assisted steering systems. EPS saves fuel primarily because the steering system is powered by an electric motor connected to vehicle’s battery, as opposed to engine-mounted hydraulic pump steering systems. By 2012, Ford plans to fit nearly 90 percent of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup with EPS. “As we use advanced technology to improve the fuel efficiency across our vehicle lineup, we have the opportunity to introduce new comfort and convenience innovations like Active Parking Assist,” said Ali Jammoul, Ford’s chief engineer for chassis engineering and steering systems. “This is technology not for the sake of technology, but one designed to meet the needs and wants of customers.”
As Ford introduces EPS in more vehicles, it will be able to offer Active Parking Assist in more models. In addition, Ford is working on using EPS and other sensors for other smart technologies, including one that could prevent a vehicle from drifting out of lane on the highway. Active Park Assist works in tandem with other new technologies that will be offered on certain Ford vehicles, including Blind Spot Information System (BLIS™) and Cross Traffic Alert. BLIS employs a sensor on the outboard rear quarter panel that monitors the traditional blind spot area, and can notify the driver with a warning indicator light in the corresponding side view mirror if the sensors in this optional system detect a vehicle in the blind spot. Cross Traffic Alert uses BLIS sensors to help detect cross traffic when backing out of a parking space.
Experience tomorrow’s technology today at Fuller Ford, where Active Park Assist is available now on the 2010 Escape and Flex. As always, Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered. Fuller Ford is the Cincinnati Tri-State Region’s leader for the hottest, cutting-edge, most fuel efficient vehicles available. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati. Check out our entire inventory at www.fullerisford.com.