Ford Will Make Parking Easier for Most of its Cars

Ford 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.
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