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Ford Adds to Its Portfolio – Auto Parking and Auto Driving

Ford has unveiled its latest addition to its active park assist (APA) package — perpendicular park assist. The technology complements the existing parallel park assist, which is currently available on most models. The system will back your car into perpendicular parking lot spots, allowing for perfect parking all the time.

Like the parallel park assist, the driver still needs to shift and press the gas and the break, though the proximity sensor will warn the driver as they near the vehicle behind them.

The technology is expected to be widely available on most of its vehicles within the next year.

Ford is also looking to tackle is traffic jams. Ford group vice president Raj Nair, comments, “As an engineer we’re always looking for a smarter way, a better way.”

Their plan is to combat congestion and frustration, by introducing Traffic Jam Assist, a technology which can optionally take over driving when the user is in stop and go traffic. The technology is similar to a low-speed cruise control, but adds automated braking and lane-keeping to the mix. Drivers can override the system at any time to change lanes.

The technology builds on previous Ford features like active park assist (APA), adaptive cruise control (ACS), Lane-Keeping Aid, and the PowerShift transmission technologies. The camera and infrared sensors are also used. And the system comes complete with helpful user updates. Once a traffic jam dissolves the system informs the driver so they can take control once again.

Ford claims the system can improve travel time by up to 37.5 percent and reduce delays by 20 percent. It says that if the system was deployed to a significant percentage of vehicles on the road, it could greatly reduce the occurrence of severe traffic jams, which plague most major cities.

A narrated computer animation of the technology can be viewed below. Let us know what you think.