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2013-10-09 09:21

PARKING GOES AUTO WITH FORD: Many automakers have rolled out auto parking but is Ford the first to launch tech that will tell your car to go park itself, at the touch of a button? Image: FORD

Traffic analysis, robotic test drivers… Ford’s R720-million investment in technology is bearing fruit, the latest of which is a system that can a park a car whether the driver is at the wheel or not. Then there’s a new auto obstacle-avoidance system! Watch our videos!

BERLIN, Germany – Wheels24 has already reported on Ford's R720-million investment in future technology as part of a four-year industry research project. In June 2013 we told you Ford had become the first automaker to use robotic test drivers.

Now the automaker’s huge tech investment has paid off yet again and it has announced two more systems – auto parking (with or without a driver at the wheel) and obstacle avoidance.

Video: Ford's self-parking car
Video: Ford's obstacle avoidance tech


The prototype self-parking aid can be operated from the outside the by remote control. The system operates steering, gear selection, forward and reverse gears. 

Ford’s obstacle avoidance technology, to be rolled out in the Ford Focus, issues warnings if it detects slow or stationary obstacles and even warns of pedestrians ahead. If the driver fails to steer or brake, the system does it for him to avoid a collision.


Ford’s European product development vice-president Barb Samardzich said: “The future for Ford means developing innovative products and technologies – including fully assisted parking and obstacle avoidance – that help to deliver a safer, more convenient, more desirable, more personalised and greener driving and ownership experience.
“Ford has always been one of the world’s leading pioneers and forward-thinkers. From the introduction of a whole new way of mass-producing cars 100 years ago to advanced safety and convenience features, we continue to set the template and define the future for drivers and the automotive environment.”


The automaker's push for technology is part of its Safe Intelligent Mobility Testfield in Germany, a four-year industry research project. The funding for the project was the equivalent of about R720-million, of which R407-million was provided by the US Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Ford's "global trends and futuring manager" Sheryl Connelly said: “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.”

Ford is celebrating 100 years of its 'moving vehicle assembly line' in 2013 but the automaker is so far ahead with new technology for the next generation of building cars, it’s scary!

Auto park, collision avoidance, flying cars… what tech would you like to see in a car? Email us and we’ll publish your thoughts on
Read more on:    ford  |  tech  |  technology

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