Ford Active Park Assist Technology Wins Popular Science 2009 ‘Best Of What’s New’ Award image

Ford Motor Company won a 2009 “Best of What’s New” award today from Popular Science, making this the third straight year Ford has been honored by the world’s leading science and technology magazine. Ford’s Active Park Assist technology won in the automotive category and will be featured in the publication’s December issue.

“We are honored to be recognized by Popular Science with a Best of What’s New award,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. “Active Park Assist is just one example of the smart technology features Ford is bringing to market not just for the sake of technology, but to meet the needs and wants of customers.”

Active Park Assist 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 camera-reliant systems. The Ford system requires less driver interface and reduces the risk of selecting a parking spot that is too tight. Unlike competing systems, Active Park Assist also works in downhill parking situations, and is available as an optional feature on several 2010 models including Ford Escape, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT and Mercury Mariner.

“For 22 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us – those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our views of what’s possible in the future,” said Mark Jannot, editor-in-chief of Popular Science. “The Best of What’s New award is the magazine’s top honor, and the 100 winners represent the highest level of achievement in their fields.”

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 its 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.