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New autonomous tech from Ford announced

  • Traffic Jam Assist pilots the car in a queue, aiding driver comfort and reducing stress
  • This semi-autonomous technology assists braking, steering and acceleration
  • Lane markings and vehicles ahead monitored by camera and radar

Ford is developing technology that relieves some of the stress and tedium from being stuck in traffic jams and navigating multistorey car parks.

Traffic Jam Assist is activated at the push of a button and keeps the vehicle within its lane through small automatic steering movements, guided by a front-facing camera. Meanwhile a grille-mounted radar identifies the position of the vehicle in front and modulates the brakes and acceleration to keep pace with it.

This semi-autonomous system can be overridden at any point if the driver takes over the pedals, steering wheel or indicators. The system also requires the driver to hold onto the steering wheel, otherwise a number of acoustic and visual warnings will be issued if a lack of interaction is detected.

Upgrades to automatic parking system

A further semi-autonomous technology system that Ford is developing builds on the company’s Active Park Assist - which controls the steering during automatic parking manoeuvres, but still requires the driver to select between forward and reverse gears.

Fully Assisted Parking Aid is the next generation in parking technology and will control gear selection along with forward and reverse motion in addition to the steering.

Finally, Remote Park Assist will let drivers park their car in narrow garages and perpendicular bays while standing outside the vehicle. As well as helping to make the most of a lack of space in crowded areas by allowing cars to park closer together, this technology can be controlled remotely with a special key fob. The driver can start the engine and select gears with a better vantage point beside the vehicle.