Ford's Perpendicular Parking System Detailed
The idea behind such a system is pretty simple actually: since cities are getting more crowded every day, a neat parking job is much more important than we’d be tempted to believe. It leaves more room for another car to slide which, in the end, means that more parking spaces are available for all of us.
Ford already has such a system, called Active Park Assist, which is currently available on several models, including the latest Focus. But the company continues its developments in this area and prepares to launch a technology that helps driver with their perpendicular parking maneuvers.
Until now, most of these systems were especially aimed at parallel parking, and we guess that we all agree this is actually the most difficult parking maneuver. While perpendicular parking is regarded as a much easier and faster thing to do for every driver out there, a new technology aimed at this could make our lives easier. Or, at least, that’s what Ford promises.
This is how Ford's Active Park Assist works in real life. It is fitted on some other models from the Ford Group too, including Lincoln vehicles.
The Americans claim that such a system is very likely to debut in the near future and although only a few details are available, it’s not so different from the Active Park Assist technology we’re seeing these days on public roads.
First of all, the entire system relies on what’s being called an ultrasonic sensor. Several ultrasonic sensors, to be more precise. Just like in Active Park Assist’s case, these sensors are needed to calculate the available space based on the vehicle dimensions and thus make sure that it quickly finds a suitable space. Afterwards, it all comes down to the so-called Electronic Power Assisted Steering system that takes control of the steering wheel and helps you slide into space.
Basically, it all takes just a few seconds, but it’s another living proof that technology can get along very well with people these days.
The perpendicular parking system however will also use so-called Parking Distance Control sensors, which are nothing more than typical sensors with a fancier name. They look for obstacles while going in reverse, just to make sure you don’t scratch the car.
Ford says that such an innovation may also ask the driver to drive forwards and backwards in order to get a neat parking, so more driver input may be necessary.
Reverse parking is apparently a very stressful activity for most of the drivers. Or, at least, this is what a study conducted by Ford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) revealed.
Data collected from those involved in the study revealed that a driver performing the entire parking manually has a heart rate of 75.9 beats per minute, while those with a parking assist system reach 72.5, or 3.4 beats per minute lower.
Ford says that the new perpendicular parking system will be released in the near future. Customer will thus have to do get the job done with the Active Parking Assist for now.
What’s more, another study conducted by Harris Interactive revealed that… hold your breath… 31 percent of the American drivers avoid parallel parking whenever it’s possible. Female drivers thing they are terrible when it comes to this maneuver, 43 percent of them rating their parallel parking ability as “fair” or “poor”.
With all that being said, it’s pretty obvious that further efforts in this area are very welcomed, especially since so many drivers encounter problems when trying to perform a parallel or a perpendicular parking. Ford’s current parking assist package isn’t quite the most affordable system on the planet, since it comes in at $695 in the United States on the Focus 5-door, but at least it helps you avoid scratches that are worth a lot more.