Ford will soon offer relief to frustrated motorists who have forgotten how to parallel park from their training in driver's education. Using the Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system along with ultrasonic sensors, the 2010 Lincoln MKS and MKT will be able to park themselves thanks to Ford's new Active Park Assist technology.
Here's how it works: First, the driver lines up next to the parking spot and presses the button on the dashboard. Next, the system will analyze the spot and prompt the driver to accept the system's assistance. Then, the system operates the steering wheel while the driver operates the throttle, brakes, and transmission in accordance with provided instructions. The driver can interrupt the system at any time by grabbing the steering wheel.
Simple, right? While the system's performance is yet to be demonstrated, Ford claims it is easier to use and more effective than competing systems such as the Advanced Parking Guidance System offered by Lexus. The main difference between the two systems is Ford's front and rear ultrasonic sensors, compared to the cameras on the Lexus.
Ford plans to implement EPAS in 90 percent of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles by 2012. With more vehicles using the electric power steering, it will be able to offer Active Park Assist as an option in more vehicles as well.
The Lincoln MKS will be available with the Active Park Assist option starting in mid-2009. The Lincoln MKT will be unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in January and will offer the technology as an option when it goes on sale likely in mid to late 2009.