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Active Park Assist  (Source: Ford)
The Lincoln MKS and MKT will be the firs Ford vehicles to get the new parking assist service

Much of the buzz surrounding the automotive industry has centered on the dire financial straits the big three have found themselves in and electric/hybrid vehicles. Going more unnoticed is the new technology that automakers like Ford are integrating into their vehicles to make them safer for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

We have all sat, watched, and waited while someone tried in vain to parallel park their vehicle. Starting in mid-2009, an option for the Lincoln MKS Sedan and MKT crossover will be a new system Ford calls Active Park Assist. The system uses a series of ultrasonic sensors arrayed at the corners of the vehicles to sense the position of the vehicle in relation to others around it.

Working in conjunction with the sensors, an Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system activates to position the vehicle for parallel parking. The system will calculate the optimal steering angle and quickly steer the vehicle into the parking spot autonomously.

"With the touch of a button, Lincoln MKS and MKT drivers can parallel park quickly, easily and safely without ever touching the steering wheel,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development. “This is another example of exclusive Ford smart technology, such as Ford SYNC, that makes the driving experience easier and more enjoyable for our customers."

Ford says that its ultrasonic sensor based system is much more effective than similar parking assist systems that use cameras like Lexus vehicles feature. The Parking Assist system takes care of the steering control for the car, but the driver is required to shift gears and control throttle and braking.

A visual and/or audible interface keeps the driver aware of the proximity of other cars, objects, and people and will change the instructions as needed to safely park the vehicle. At any time, the driver can interrupt the parking assist system by grabbing the steering wheel.

Ford says that there is more to the EPAS system than simply offering help when parallel parking the vehicle. The EPAS system is said to improve fuel economy by up to 5% and reduce CO2 emissions at the same time. Steering performance is enhanced when compared to hydraulic systems in use on most cars today according to Ford. The automaker says it plans to fit 90% of its production vehicles with the EPAS system by 2012.

Ford's Ali Jammoul said in a statement, "As we use advanced technology like Electric Power Assisted Steering to improve the fuel efficiency across our vehicle lineup, we have the opportunity to introduce new comfort and convenience innovations like Active Parking Assist. This is technology not for the sake of technology, but technology designed to meet the needs and wants of customers."

This technology will be offering in conjunction with other Ford safety systems on some of the company's vehicles. Other systems include the Blind Spot Identification System. Ford unveiled its Collision Warning with Brake Support system in October of 2008. Ford isn’t clear on if the Collision Warning System will be offered alongside the other technologies for parking and blind spot detection.



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One more step towards...
By Motoman on 12/30/2008 12:36:39 PM , Rating: 3
Wall-E. Sigh. Heaven forbid you be able to park your own truck.




RE: One more step towards...
By rudolphna on 12/30/2008 12:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
You must not pay enough attention when driving. There are insane amounts of, well, insane drivers. They either dont know HOW to drive, or just dont carea. And no offense to anyone living in Massachussetts, but drivers there are God Awful. Its a constant "whos king of the road" pissing contest there. One thing you dont want is to get stuck in a traffic circle (roundabout) in Mass. People will NEVER let you out of it. I have friends who were stuck in one for half an hour, because nobody would let them out. The real problem is that some people are completely incapable of parallel parking, or dont want to. Have you ever had to parallel park and said, "ah damn...?" Well, I have. Its not my favorite thing to do. I bet if this was coming from toyota or honda, you would be glowing about how fantastic this feature is. But because its coming from Ford... It automatically is crap. Whatever you say, this is a good feature for the idiot drivers out there, to make it safer for everyone else. And it will save insurance comapnies money hopefully.


RE: One more step towards...
By kkwst2 on 12/30/2008 1:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding parallel parking, it largely has to do with 1) how often you do it 2) how long the wheelbase is. When I was in grad school living in the city and doing it all the time, I could parallel park my Lumina in a space not much bigger than the car. I had a friend from NY that would park his little Metro in a space SMALLER than the car. Obviously it involved a little creative nudging, but he seemed to be able to do it without removing paint.

Now I drive a G35, which is considerably shorter, but hate to parallel park because I live in the burbs and only try it occasionally when we go into the city. It's usually pretty ugly. On a big sedan, I would love to have this feature.


RE: One more step towards...
By ggordonliddy on 12/30/2008 8:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Obviously it involved a little creative nudging, but he seemed to be able to do it without removing paint.


You think it's EVER okay to touch someone's car with your own, regardless if you think paint came off?!!!


RE: One more step towards...
By kkwst2 on 12/30/2008 9:50:50 PM , Rating: 2
Sure I do, especially when some jerk parks in the city leaving three feet of space in front of their car when parking is scarce. If you don't want someone to touch your car, be considerate.

It wasn't me doing it. I certainly try not to. That being said, if you think you're parking on the street in the city and someone is not nudging your car, you're delusional. Happens all the time. Get over it. No harm, no foul. I'd rather have someone knowingly nudge my car and do no damage than some idiot unknowingly sling their door into the side of my car and ding/chip it.


RE: One more step towards...
By grath on 12/31/2008 12:00:12 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. If you think you have the right to waste a space on the block to protect your paint job, then I think I have the right to carefully push your car a bit to reclaim a space on the block.


RE: One more step towards...
By Hare on 12/31/2008 4:19:13 AM , Rating: 5
Great. You just can't win.

If I park my car right next to someone elses sure enough the idiot scratches mine. If I leave a bit of space for the lousy driver to succesfully leave the parking space without scratching my car an idiot like you comes and nudges my car on purpose.

Btw. Did you ever think that maybe that someone didn't leave any space before them? Maybe a car left and someone else parked loosely next to your victim?


RE: One more step towards...
By Regs on 1/5/2009 1:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
Trust me, parking for example New York City, will make anybody go insane. It will take a week for you to understand what you did was wrong.


RE: One more step towards...
By Motoman on 12/30/2008 1:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
...frankly, I think there are far too many drivers on the road that lack sufficient driving skill. Blame society for thinking a driver's license is some kind of "right" as opposed to a privelege.

Anyway, we have a TrailBlazer (obviously easy to park) and a quad-cab 4x4 Ram 3500...which, granted an appropriate space, I can parallel-park just fine. And I think at least one Japanese company did introduce this feature a couple years ago anyway...

I just cringe everytime I see some other thing come out that allows a user to relinquish responsibility for something. If it were up to me, I'd ban automatic transmissions...if you can't figure out a clutch, I don't want to be on the road with you! And if you can't parallel-park your own vehicle...may I suggest the bus?


RE: One more step towards...
By Spivonious on 12/30/2008 1:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
Amen! I feel that driving a manual has given me a sense of being in control of my car. I hate driving my wife's automatic because it feels like it's driving me instead of the other way around.


RE: One more step towards...
By Bateluer on 12/30/2008 1:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
I can always tell when someone is driving a manual transmission. They always roll backwards on hills, stop signs, red lights, and any surface that has a grade on which they need to stop.

If I'm driving with them, its painfully obvious. Whiplash effect as they shift gears. Every driver I've ever ridden with who drives a manual, and swears by them, does this. Guess they are just used to it. Its annoying for me. And don't give the the tired 'they aren't driving it right' argument, some of these people are just as stubborn with the manual transmission and are likely older than you guys are. They still get the whiplash effect as they shift.

With my automatic, there's no whiplash. The shifting is seamless and smooth.


RE: One more step towards...
By Motoman on 12/30/2008 1:59:51 PM , Rating: 3
...stop by and I'll take you for a ride. There's no inherent reason why a stickshift vehicle can't be driven with smooth gear changes...and good clutch control minimizes/eliminates rollback at stop signs.


RE: One more step towards...
By therealnickdanger on 12/30/2008 2:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
You may also stop by and take a ride with me. The 400+HP mated to my automatic will give you a different kind of whiplash! ;-)


RE: One more step towards...
By Motoman on 12/30/2008 2:58:02 PM , Rating: 3
While I'm sure it does...if you don't mind me saying so (and you probably do, but...), I think you're wasting a good chunk of your driving experience by not having a stick.


RE: One more step towards...
By Nik00117 on 12/30/2008 11:47:05 PM , Rating: 3
I agree, stick shift=so much fun!


RE: One more step towards...
By RamarC on 12/30/2008 2:35:24 PM , Rating: 3
pfft.

you're either seeing folks who can't drive a stick or are driving it for fun. i rock on inclines intentionally sometimes. and you'll only get 'whiplash' in my car if i'm pushing the engine hard (which i never do anymore :P). but if you floor an automatic with a powerful engine, it too will give you a bit of 'whiplash'.

a stick puts you in more control with the car and requires you to be a better driver since you have to pay attention and make choices other than point and go.


RE: One more step towards...
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2008 3:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I barely roll back when starting off on a hill with a manual. And its not hard to drive a manual so that you don't feel the shift.

My old IROC-Z with a shift kit jerked the car far hard than I ever do with my GTO and a manual. In normal driving at least.


RE: One more step towards...
By Spivonious on 12/30/2008 4:05:04 PM , Rating: 3
If there's noticeable whiplash when shifting gears, these people don't know how to properly drive a manual. I gave a ride to one of my computer repair customers once and it took him most of the 25 minute ride to realize the car was a manual.


RE: One more step towards...
By UNHchabo on 12/30/2008 3:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
I love stick shifts myself, but what about people whose left leg doesn't work properly, but are otherwise able-bodied?


RE: One more step towards...
By Oregonian2 on 12/30/2008 3:20:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just cringe everytime I see some other thing come out that allows a user to relinquish responsibility for something.


True, power steering also is another evil. Keeps us from building our upper arm muscles like it should and making us flabby. Reminds me, automatic starters are pretty insane as well. As long as we're sticking with combustion engines for a while, why not lose some car weight (helping increase gas mileage) and go back to crank starters? Shoot, get rid of the car completely and go with walking! Adding features to keep up with the competition is silly.

P.S. - Tongue back in cheek, I very rarely parallel park. Live in the suburbs where parallel parking is rare -- and even when going into the city, am usually in parking garages where one doesn't parallel park either. I usually don't find parallel parking a problem, but I might not be exactly perfectly straight and parallel with the curb at the exact inches one is supposed to be -- more along the lines of "it looks okay, kinda".


RE: One more step towards...
By Oregonian2 on 12/30/2008 3:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Blame society for thinking a driver's license is some kind of "right" as opposed to a privelege.


You do realize, don't you, that the privilege bit is something implanted into people's minds by the government -- that government that is trying to maintain it's power, its tight control over the population. In what international trips I've made, most drivers in the world that I've seen don't seem to pay all that much attention to driving rules that governments attempt to assert.


RE: One more step towards...
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2008 4:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
So according to you if someone has been in 10 accidents in a year, all their fault, they should just be allowed to keep driving.

Or if someone has driven drunk multiple times and killed several people, just let'em keep driving huh?

Because it's their right.

Driving is a privilege. One you lose if you f*ck up enough times.


RE: One more step towards...
By retrospooty on 12/30/2008 10:25:36 PM , Rating: 1
Its commercial darwinism at work... HE who is too stupid to parallel park, is just stupid enough to buy a Ford =)


RE: One more step towards...
By FITCamaro on 12/31/2008 8:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
Lexus has been advertising this for a year dumbass.


RE: One more step towards...
By MrBlastman on 12/31/2008 10:18:14 AM , Rating: 2
Touche' :)

Lexus and Mercedes drivers are some of the biggest clowns on the road actually. They think they own the street and they are horrible at driving all at the same time.

BMW's are one tier below them but not by much.


RE: One more step towards...
By rbuszka on 12/31/2008 10:04:36 AM , Rating: 2
You can still parallel-park your own truck if you want to. They haven't taken away your right to drive your own car.


Fuel economy?
By Spivonious on 12/30/2008 12:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
How does a parking assist feature improve fuel economy? Are they counting on the normal driver needing to make a few attempts to park the car?




RE: Fuel economy?
By rudolphna on 12/30/2008 12:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
its not the parking assist that saves fuel. It is the electric steering, as opposed to the traditional hydraulic system running of the Serpentine belt. This will run off the electrical system, and will be more efficient. As an example, if you removed your belt-run cooling fan, with an electric one, you would gain several Horsepower, and fuel economy. Those things are a significant drain on engine output.


RE: Fuel economy?
By kkwst2 on 12/30/2008 1:12:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but the potential is not just the belt. Being able to remove the hydraulic system would save a LOT of weight and cost, and this is the first step. I'm guessing they're still using hydraulic breaks, so they still probably haven't completely removed the hydraulics, but this is a good first step. It's unbelievable to me that we haven't shed hydraulics in favor of electrical systems by now.

It should have happened 10 years ago, but this is a good sign that the domestic companies are starting to think outside the box. I don't think it's the first electric assist steering, but it would probably be the most mainstream one.

So the electric assist steering is the real story here and is a good sign in my opinion.


RE: Fuel economy?
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2008 3:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
Electric steering sucks. It has far less feedback from the road. And I'm sorry but I don't trust the longevity of an electric motor for something like steering. A hydraulic steering is far more reliable to me. And far less costly to fix if something does go wrong.

Was the only thing on my Cobalt I disliked. I was almost afraid to turn it hard because I didn't want to wear out the electric motor faster.


RE: Fuel economy?
By Spuke on 12/30/2008 5:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was almost afraid to turn it hard because I didn't want to wear out the electric motor faster.
I wouldn't worry about it until you get into some really high mileage then you can just buy another motor or rebuild the one you have now.


RE: Fuel economy?
By Noya on 12/30/2008 7:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It has far less feedback from the road. And I'm sorry but I don't trust the longevity of an electric motor for something like steering.


I guess it depends on the manufacturer.

Honda's NSX and S2000 were/are some of the best handling cars in their respective classes, and both have electric steering. And if you read buying guides on even the 1st gen NSX, the electric steering is of no maintenance/reliability concern.


RE: Fuel economy?
By GTVic on 12/30/2008 9:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
If you are afraid to try something new then you might be left behind.

The electric motor wasn't the problem in your Cobalt, it was the GM in front of the name.


RE: Fuel economy?
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2008 9:41:10 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah damn that car which gave me absolutely no problems in the 3 years and 48,000 miles I drove it.

Eat shit buddy. Stop listening to the media. Not all American cars suck.


RE: Fuel economy?
By Atheist Icon on 12/31/2008 1:56:47 PM , Rating: 2
Even though my 89 SC TBird is not a GM, I have yet to have major problems with it, 19 yrs 257K miles.

Not all American cars suck.


RE: Fuel economy?
By rudolphna on 12/31/2008 5:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm... I drive a 2003 Ford Expedition with 55,000 Miles on it, and have had very few problems... A few ignition coils easily replaced at home, and a rear A/C fan door (head/feet controld door) motor, also easily replaced at home. I own a 1999 Jeep Wrangler, no major mechaincal problems besides a new transmission (because I drove through a mud puddle deeper than it looked, and it both it and the tranny cooler). My father has a 97" Chevy Cavalier, again, no major problems and he drives that thing daily. Not all American made cars are pieces of crap you know.


"Parallel parking"
By iVTec on 12/30/2008 12:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
When i saw the title,i imagined a car with wheels that could turn 90 degrees...now that would be "easy,parallel parking"...:P

After all,u still need to make like a zillion maneuvers to fit your car into a tight space,even with this assistance thingy.




RE: "Parallel parking"
By ebakke on 12/30/2008 1:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
by iVTec on December 30, 2008 at 12:35 PM When i saw the title,i imagined a car with wheels that could turn 90 degrees...now that would be "easy,parallel parking"...:P After all,u still need to make like a zillion maneuvers to fit your car into a tight space,even with this assistance thingy.
1. Pull up next to the car in front of the parking space.
2. Turn wheel right.
3. Back up and turn wheel left when entering the spot.
4. Straighten wheel and move forward if necessary.

Does "like a zillion" actually mean 4?


RE: "Parallel parking"
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2008 3:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'll admit I'm not the best at parallel parking. You don't do it much in Florida. But I can still do it generally in 5-6 motions max.


RE: "Parallel parking"
By Xerstead on 1/1/2009 8:32:26 AM , Rating: 2
Sometimes it takes even more. I've parelell parked my car with less than 10cm clearence each end. I was amazed how tight it was when I crossed the street and looked back. It took far more than the 4 motions.
How will this system cope with the really tight spaces where it is not possible to do it in one and then need to wiggle over?
The parking sensors on cars I have driven (Mercedes, Jaguar, BMW, Audi...) give their final warning tone with a foot or more of space before contact. I'm comfortable with this distance on my own and usually only need the parking sensors for the last few inches, but that just falls in the 'you're too close - Beeeep'
If this parking system only covers spaces big enough to do it in one go while leaving over a foot clearance then you should be able to do it easily yourself.


RE: "Parallel parking"
By Oregonian2 on 12/30/2008 3:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Does "like a zillion" actually mean 4?


You left out the "for loop" around the four inner-steps in the algorithm. The four steps need to be repeated a number of times before termination of the procedure.

It'll take only the four steps if sufficient space is available. :-) My first car was a 1969 Cadillac Calais (nearly the same as a de Ville , but even larger). There almost never was sufficient room for a parallel park, and if tried, there were a zillion back and forths to fit in (and out). Later when "inheriting" my new wife's car, parallel parking a toyota corolla was a piece of cake. Depends on car size vs. space available.


RE: "Parallel parking"
By Klober on 12/30/2008 4:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
While what you say is true...I think a "while" loop might be more appropriate in this instance due to the changing number of repetitions. :P


RE: "Parallel parking"
By iVTec on 12/30/2008 3:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
Like oregonian2 said,you need 4 moves only if you have enough space,say 5 meters for a 4 meter car.But what if you have like 4,2 meters for tha same car?It's practically impossible to do it,at least without touching the other cars and spenting half an hour :P


RE: "Parallel parking"
By Klober on 12/30/2008 4:47:30 PM , Rating: 2
Nah. Just drive a smaller car and bring a couple of buddies. Only 2 steps this way:

1. Pull front end of car straight into space and turn off car.
2. Pile out, pick up back end and SCOOT!

:)


RE: "Parallel parking"
By Smilin on 12/30/2008 5:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1. Pull up next to the car in front of the parking space.
2. Turn wheel right.
3. Back up and turn wheel left when entering the spot.
4. Straighten wheel and move forward if necessary.


See! THIS folks is why you need a car that can automatically parallel park. This guy just smashed someone's car when parallel parking and is now telling everyone else to do the same.

Oh, BTW insert this between step 1 & 2 before turning your wheel right. It will stop you from taking off someone's bumper:

1.5 Backup until front of your car is next to the door of the car in the front of the parking space.


More please.
By spread on 12/30/2008 1:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still waiting on the turning assistance technology and the open door assistance technology.




RE: More please.
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2008 3:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
Already have doors that open themselves on minivans and SUVs.

All this automatic crap is just more sh*t that will eventually break and you'll pay out the butt to replace. Personally I don't even want power seats. I'm not so lazy that I can't pull a lever or turn a knob. Power windows are about the only power feature I truly want. Because its hard to reach across the car and roll the other one down.


RE: More please.
By Smilin on 12/30/2008 5:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
Your power seats suck then.

I've got some 8-way seats that I can get just right. When the Mrs. or someone changes it then the next time I hit my unlock button on my key fob it returns to all my settings as I'm approaching the car.

Maybe it's just me but I'm reeeeaaally picky about how my seat is positioned. If it's not the way I want I end up fussing with it for days before I get it right again (or just finally become used to the new position).

I've really gotten used to automatic night mode on the rearview mirror too. It's just something I never think about. Auto wipers still require manual input but they handle all that "intermittent wiper" stuff so nicely..you know how you can never seem to get itermittent to match exactly how much rain is coming?

Environmental systems (good ones) are the bomb too. I literally haven't touched my environmental controls in months...at least two or three seasons.

All in all I love all the automatic goo on my cars. They are just really pleasant to have and it relaxes the driving experience not worrying about so many trivial things. Plus...mmmm seat warmers in the winter.

Oh, and none of it has broken yet. It's 99% electronics which just don't wear as much as mechanical stuff.


RE: More please.
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2008 9:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
What does me wanting manual seating adjustments have to do with the quality of my seats? And you can have 8 way adjustable seats with levers and knobs. You're just too lazy to pull a lever or turn a knob.

My GTOs seats are extremely good and comfortable. I just would prefer manual seat adjustments so I don't ever have to worry about motors wearing out.

Sorry but I'm not lazy and can remember to flip the mirror to night mode, to lock my doors, and to turn on my windshield wipers or set what speed I want them at. Personally I hate it that when I turn it on intermittent, if I'm going over a certain speed, it increases the speed at which the wipers cycle automatically. So when its barely raining and I'm doing 70, they're going full speed.

I swear people are so lazy it isn't even funny. And we wonder why the accident rate has skyrocketed.


RE: More please.
By Smilin on 12/31/2008 1:20:00 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, that must be it. I'm too lazy to pull a lever. Yes that is sooooo much work. None of this has anything to do with laziness so spare me the lectures and I'll stay off your lawn.

Seriously the 8-way power seats rock not because they are powered...it's because they are 8-way and because they have seat memory. Your GTO manual seat might be very comfortable but I guarantee if you let my Wife drive it then you won't think so afterwards. She wrecks my seat settings. I don't worry about the motors burning out either...it's not a GM dude.

The auto wipers...it's not about setting them at whatever speed. You still have high-low-auto instead of high-low-intermittent. No, the beautiful thing about auto wipers is that intermittent wipers suck so badly. They are never at the right speed to keep your windshield clean without being annoying (which you just agreed). Auto wipers fix that.

It's all about having a pleasant driving experience. When you combine all this stupid little non-driving BS things that need performed it degrades the experience of having a nice car to drive. Some things are better when not auto IMHO like the transmission. That's a manual process that adds to the driving experience rather than detracting from it... mind you GOOD paddle shifters are nice too :)

Oh and BTW. All this "auto" crap reduces distractions which all other things being equal will reduce accidents. I don't have to touch sh1t when I drive my car. No wipers, no mirrors, no seats, no heat/ac.


RE: More please.
By spread on 12/31/2008 11:34:10 AM , Rating: 2
Explain to me how a powered seat is "99% electronics".

You do realize there are gears and levers inside the thing. The torques required to move the bulk need massive motors. Instead, the seat was designed with smaller motors hooked up to gears. Same torque at the cost of speed.

The levers are used to lock the gears in place.


RE: More please.
By Smilin on 12/31/2008 1:08:22 PM , Rating: 2
Who said powered seats are 99% electronics? Go read the whole post before you pre-bunch your panties. Geez.


Don't know, can't be taught to drive
By bildan on 12/30/2008 3:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
A significant fraction of drivers don't know how to drive to any acceptable standard and can't be taught to do so. Robotic cars that drive themselves is the only solution.




RE: Don't know, can't be taught to drive
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2008 4:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
You enjoy that world. I'm more in favor of extremely strict drivers license standards. If you can't pass, you don't get to drive.


RE: Don't know, can't be taught to drive
By Atheist Icon on 12/30/2008 7:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
I can agree with you on that one...one more stipulation though, If you cannot merge at a reasonable rate of speed(match traffic) safely, instant failure. I am sick and tired of people that feel that they have to stop on a highway ramp to merge with traffic on the highway....friggin re-re's...


By Xerstead on 1/1/2009 8:47:21 AM , Rating: 2
Or when the a long line of cars are joining (and up to speed) but all travelling bumper to bumber and pull out with no regard, or attempt to merge with the traffic on the main carriageway.
Then pull into the next lane, without indicating, regardless of anyone passing in the 'faster' lane.

Regular refresher checks/test/lesson would also be welcome. It's easy for people to pick up bad habits over years of driving and the occaisonal check would help.


EPAS during an emergency
By austinag on 12/30/2008 12:36:03 PM , Rating: 4
I wonder if the Electric assist would remain on (running off battery power) in the case of engine failure. That would help people get off the highway more safely then hydraulic assist in the same situation.




RE: EPAS during an emergency
By kkwst2 on 12/30/2008 1:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of whether there is battery backup it will help a ton. Think about why it's so hard to steer when you lose power. It's because you're fighting the hydraulic system, not because the wheel is so intrinsically hard to turn. Sure it's harder without assist, but fighting the hydraulics is why it can become almost impossible.

Electric assist should not have the same problem. Unless your arms look like Olive Oyl you should be able to control your car if the electric assist goes out.


how much
By Chernobyl68 on 12/30/2008 5:33:05 PM , Rating: 2
wow, how much will this system drive up the cost of the vehicle? This is one of the things that is "nice to have" but isn't essential. And I hate to see manufacturers making cars more expensive to repair. How much will this puppy cost to repair or replace? got some body damage? how much to realign and calibrate that ultrasonic sensor?

If you ask me, most people's problem with parallel parking comes with being unable to properly estimate how much space they need to park. I'd hate to see money spent on things like this when they could be spending money on making a car easier to maintain, more reliable, or more fuel efficient.




RE: how much
By mdogs444 on 12/30/2008 5:42:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
wow, how much will this system drive up the cost of the vehicle? This is one of the things that is "nice to have" but isn't essential. And I hate to see manufacturers making cars more expensive to repair.

Its debuting on Lincoln, Ford's domestic luxury line, not on a Ford Focus. People who buy Lincoln are already paying a premium over comparable vehicles from Ford's domestic lineup (Navigator vs Expedition, Mariner vs Escape, etc). So giving a luxury lineup more options, even at a cost premium, is not an issue.

Now, if they were making this a standard feature, or required with a basic "premium" package on a budget minded Ford car, then I'd agree with you. However, that is not the case here.
quote:
If you ask me, most people's problem with parallel parking comes with being unable to properly estimate how much space they need to park.

It also comes with repetition and location. Many people do not live in the city or urban areas, thus they do not parallel park on a regular basis. Many people live in the suburbs, and drive larger SUV's and trucks that they do not have to parallel park on a consistent basis.


RE: how much
By whirabomber on 12/31/2008 7:36:57 AM , Rating: 2
From a more complete article, Ford plans on offering the option on all vehicles by 2011 or 2012 after the Lincoln folks beta test it for the rest of us. I don't see the option costing more than $700 on a Lincoln (as most Lincolns seem to have follow assist and parking sensors standard).

I am one of the suburbanites myself and would love to have parallel parking assistance. I would rather pay and park in a garage or lot than park parallel.

Some folks (CNN?) say that the direction is a waste of money for Ford, I say it would help sell me a car. In 10 years such automatic options will be as standard as cruise control. Of course so will vehicle gps "anti-theft" devices and court binding black boxes.


yepp ... but old news ...
By morning on 12/30/2008 2:21:26 PM , Rating: 2
RE: yepp ... but old news ...
By morning on 12/30/2008 6:08:46 PM , Rating: 2
it might be the system from bosch... (like it's used with the vw touran)

http://www.bosch-presse.de/TBWebDB/de-DE/PressText...

(sorry it's only german)

this system (if you order it as option) might cost you about USD 500,- to 700,- (standard front and rear park sensors included)


By CiaccioJ on 12/31/2008 12:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
I had back surgery about 4 months ago and still cannot turn completely in the seat.

This feature would make parallel parking much easier




By BillyAZ1983 on 12/30/2008 5:14:23 PM , Rating: 1
Melodramtic much? Your attempt at humor failed.

Good day sir.


By eheia on 12/31/2008 4:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
I SAID GOOD DAY!


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