will soon offer two technologies that will make backing up and parking safer and easier. The first is a new rearview video camera and the second is a system that almost autonomously performs parallel parking maneuvers. For the new rearview camera, the video image will appear in the rearview mirror, as opposed to a console-mounted screen, when reverse is selected. Ford intends to offer the rearview camera on about three quarters of its vehicles by the end of 2009. This will give the company a head start toward complying with a newly enacted Federal law that requires vehicles to alert drivers if a person is behind the vehicle. The other technology, called Active Park Assist, will be available first on the 2010 Lincoln MKS sedan
and the new Lincoln MKT crossover
. An ultrasonic sensing system and electrically assisted steering allows a computer to accurately steer the vehicle through a parallel-parking maneuver. The driver will need only to pull next to a parking space, press a button and step on the gas or brake pedals when the computer says to. Similar systems from other manufacturers are video based rather than using ultrasonic technology.