- Self-parking cars at the touch of the key fob
- Collisions could become a thing of the past
- Systems at least two years from production
There’s been a growing trend in recent months for car manufacturers to show off not new cars years in advance of them going on sale but some of the technological aspects that will be showcased in them.
Ford is the latest manufacturer joining the fray using a section of its 2013 ‘Go Further’ event to announce the new tech alongside the reveals of the future Ka, Edge and Mustang.
We’re already used to Fords equipped with a raft of advanced safety features such as radar-guided cruise control, lane keeping assistance and blind spot monitoring, so what can Ford drivers expect to be fitted to their cars over the coming years?
Fully Assisted Parking Aid
We’re already familiar with Ford’s ‘Active Park Assist’ whereby at the press of a button the car uses its on-board sensors to measure suitable parking spaces before manoeuvring itself into one. The ‘driver’ simply sits there watching the steering wheel twizzle left and right until the car’s in position.
With ‘Fully Assisted Parking Aid’ the level of convenience and open air street theatre are set to both dramatically increase. It works in a similar manner but rather than press a button on the dashboard to activate the system, the driver gets out of the car and presses one on the key fob instead.
The most obvious benefit of this is you’ll now be able to park in spaces you would have previously ignored because you don’t have to worry about getting out of the car once you’ve got it into position. Suddenly a narrow garage opening or that unfancied parking bay close to a wall become perfectly accessible.
Naturally the system works in reverse too, the car manoeuvring out of its parking slot allowing you to get in when there’s sufficient space to do so.
Many Fords already come equipped with ‘Active City Stop’ whereby obstacles and vehicles in the road are monitored, with the cars’ systems bringing it to a halt if it ‘thinks’ the driver won’t slow in time.
A further development of the system is ‘Obstacle Avoidance’ where not only will the car brake if the driver fails to slow down sufficiently, it will also autonomously steer itself away from the obstacle, further reducing the likelihood of a collision.
Such a system is likely to have further benefits in terms of reducing insurance premiums and repair bills for fleet operators.
No firm launch dates have been confirmed for these future technologies but they are highly likely to appear early in the model life cycles of the 2015 Mondeo and the new Edge 4x4.