Ford Motor Company is known for its commitment to developing industry-leading technology solutions that put its vehicles ahead of the pack. This year is no different, and Popular Science, the world’s leading science and technology magazine, recognized that when awarding a 2009 “Best of What’s New” award to Ford for its Active Park Assist technology.
Each year, Popular Science judges the greatest innovations of the past year, those that, as its editors explain on www.popsci.com, “push past what we thought was possible just 12 months ago.” Ford’s Active Park Assist was one of 10 automotive innovations that the judges said, “Have blown us away.”
What does Active Park Assist technology do? To sum it up – it makes parallel parking a lot easier.
Where was this during driver’s ed!
With the touch of a button, Ford Active Park Assist uses ultrasonic-based sensors to help your car parallel park itself “perfectly, each and every time.” These sensors, located on the front and rear of the vehicle, allow Active Park Assist to guide the vehicle into a parking space.
When the driver presses an instrument panel button, the system is active and the ultrasonic sensors measure and identify a parallel parking space. After detecting a space, the system prompts the driver to accept its assistance. Next, the steering system takes over and steers the car into the parking space. All the driver has to do is shift the transmission and operate the brake and gas pedals.
The system doesn’t just park the vehicle – during the process, a visual and/or audible driver interface informs the driver about the proximity of other vehicles, people and objects, providing instructions. If at any time the driver needs to interrupt the automatic steering, all he or she has to do is grasp the steering wheel.
Another benefit of Ford Active Park Assist is that it also works in downhill parking situations – something competing systems cannot do. When compared to camera-reliant systems, Active Park Assist is faster and easier to use, requires less driver interface and reduces the risk of selecting a too-small parking space.
Ford Active Park Assist technology is available as an option on several 2010 models including Ford Escape, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT and Mercury Mariner.
In a Ford press release, Derrick Kuzak, Ford Group Vice President of Global Product Development, said, “Active Park Assist is just one example of the smart technology features Ford is bringing to the market, not just for the sake of technology, but to meet the needs and wants of customers.”
According to the same press release, Popular Science has honored innovations that “surprise and amaze us” over the past 22 years. The magazine’s Editor-In-Chief, Mark Jannot, said, “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.”
Previous “Best of What’s New” awards were given to Ford Motor Company for its EcoBoost™ engine technology (2008); Easy Fuel® Capless Fuel-Filler System (2008); and Ford SYNC® (2007).
For more information on the Ford Motor Company and products such as Ford Active Park Assist, visit www.ford.com. To see Popular Science’s 2009 “What’s New Awards,” visit www.popsci.com/bown/2009.