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If proof was needed that parallel parking drives motorists to distraction, the success of Ford’s Active Park Assist feature in Europe and North America makes the point loud and clear.
The technology has also been introduced in the Middle East on the new Ford Explorer and Focus models, and is already gathering the kind of popularity in the region which has seen Ford triple production levels for the technology to meet the demand in Europe alone.
“Ford’s Active Park Assist takes all the stress out of parking,” said Ford engineer Kay Müller. “At the touch of a button, it enables you to park in the smallest of spaces, while at the same time reducing the risk of accidental damage to your vehicle and those surrounding it.”
The technology calculates the optimal steering angle and quickly steers the vehicle hands free into a parking spot, making parallel parking a stress free manoeuver. Active Park Assist is available in the Middle East on the Ford Focus, Taurus SHO, Explorer, Flex, Lincoln MKS and MKT.
A third of European drivers surveyed by Ford last year said they struggled to parallel-park. And with more cars appearing on the Middle East region’s roads each year, congestion is beginning to become more of a problem, which can make finding parking more difficult.
“We’re seeing growing interest in this technology in the Middle East as well,” said Hussein Murad, Sales director of Ford Middle East. “Finding a parking space in many Middle Eastern cities is becoming more challenging, and people want to take care of their vehicles and those of others, which is where an innovation like Active Park Assist comes in. We expect to see more customers asking for it on their Ford vehicles in the future.”
Active Park Assist – how it works
The driver activates the system by pressing a 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 system then takes over and steers the car into the parking space hands-free. The driver still operates the gears and the accelerator and brake pedals.
A visual and/or audible 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
Please click the link for a video demonstration of Active Park Assist http://youtu.be/AXZU6CQz4sw