The Detroit automaker is now experimenting with two new high-tech technologies, one that conveniently allows a car to park itself without a driver inside and the other uses automatic steering and braking to avoid collisions or pedestrians.
Ford’s Research and Advanced Engineering division has revealed technology developed to enable drivers to park at the touch of a button from inside or outside their car, as well as a prototype that employs a new Obstacle Avoidance technology.
The Ford Focus equipped with the prototype Fully Assisted Parking Aid system employs developments made with existing Ford technologies, like the Active Park Assist and Ford PowerShift transmission – the next generation push-button parking technology can even be operated from outside the car by remote control – while inside it operates steering, gear selection and forward and reverse motion.
“The future for Ford means developing innovative products and technologies – including Fully Assisted Parking Aid and Obstacle Avoidance – that help deliver a safer, more convenient, more desirable, more personalised and greener driving and ownership experience,” said Barb Samardzich, Ford’s European Product Development vice president. “Ford Motor Company has always been one of the world’s leading pioneers and forward-thinkers. From the introduction of a whole new way of mass producing cars 100 years ago to the advanced safety and convenience features unveiled today, we continue to set the template and define the future for drivers and the automotive environment.”
On the same prototype the company also employs the Obstacle Avoidance technology, which issues warnings if it detects slow-moving objects, stationary obstacles or pedestrians in the lane ahead. If the driver fails to steer or brake following the warnings, the system automatically steers and breaks to avoid a collision.
The trials are going in Belgium and there are no plans to market either in the U.S. anytime soon, but both point to how automakers are gradually moving toward self-driving technology in cars.