We’ve seen Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan working on their own vehicle self-driving systems. Ford is also currently testing technology developed to enable drivers to park at the touch of a button from inside or outside their car, as well as a prototype that combines automatic steering and braking to avoid collisions with vehicles or pedestrians.
Ford said its Research and Advanced Engineering division harnessed developments made with existing Ford technologies, Active Park Assist and Ford PowerShift transmission, to produce a Ford Focus equipped with the Fully Assisted Parking Aid system prototype.
Ford’s push-button parking technology – that can even be operated from outside the car by remote control – operates steering, gear selection and forward and reverse motion.
Ford also unveiled its Obstacle Avoidance technology on the Focus, which issues warnings if it detects slow-moving objects, stationary obstacles or pedestrians in the road ahead. If the driver fails to steer or brake following the warnings, the system automatically steers and brakes to avoid a collision.
“The future for Ford means developing innovative products and technologies – including Fully Assisted Parking Aid and Obstacle Avoidance – that help deliver a safer, more convenient, more desirable, more personalized and greener driving and ownership experience,” said Barb Samardzich, Ford’s European Product Development vice president.
According to Ford, its futuring experts have identified an increasing consumer demand worldwide for technology and features which make life easier and safer.
“Ford Motor Company has always been one of the world’s leading pioneers and forward-thinkers,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford Global Trends and Futuring manager. “From the introduction of a whole new way of mass producing cars 100 years ago to the advanced safety and convenience features unveiled today, we continue to set the template and define the future for drivers and the automotive environment. Car-buyers are placing a growing emphasis on the ownership experience, on purchases that keep them connected on the move – trends that will have an effect on the vehicles, features and services they will choose in the future.”