Ford To Take Fun Out Of Parallel Parking

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

As the video proves beyond the shadow of a doubt, parallel parking is a cinch. For those who nonetheless feel challenged by the maneuver, and view it as scarier than crossing the 38th parallel, Ford has a cure: Ford plans to offer two Lincoln models in 2009 that can park themselves, Marketwatch reports. Parallel parking will get as boring as pushing a button. The miracles will be on display at the Detroit Auto Show. The parallel parking robot will be an option on the Lincoln MKS sedan and MKT CUV for the 2009 model year. For the TTAC B&B, this news is a yawner, as automatic parallel parking attendants were introduced by Toyota in their Prius as far back as 2004, followed by Lexus, BMW, the VW Touran, and possibly others.

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  • Kendahl Kendahl on Dec 30, 2008
    ...might as well throw radar-assisted cruise control in there, too. They already have. It's called adaptive cruise control. Although I like rear view cameras (discussed in another thread), I refuse to cede control of speed, acceleration and braking to a simple minded computer.

  • Kevin Kluttz Kevin Kluttz on Dec 30, 2008

    Score: jg 2, quasimondo 1. I, too, am very glad your vision returned, if indeed it did. About 15 years ago, infection from ear tube installation (dumbest thing I have ever done) almost stole my hearing, but it since has returned (without any tubes!). I know the feeling. I've been thinking, and I'm giving quasimondo a 2-point conversion, making the score quasimondo 3, jg 2.

  • Kevin Kluttz Kevin Kluttz on Dec 30, 2008

    And lest we forget Ace Ventura..."Like a Glove!"

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Dec 30, 2008

    rpn453, consider this: A paraplegic driver is able to operate a vehicle with the assistance of hand controls that manipulate the accelerator and brake pedals. Because of this simple technology they are able to operate a car on the same skill level as somebody who has full use of their legs. Why should the use of an automated parallel parking system be viewed any different for a driver who's lost his depth perception because they have one eye? The easy answer to this issue of course would be 'Mass Transit, stay off the roads,' but in many cities, it is still an inadequate and subpar system to the point that it is unacceptable. Complicating matters is that massive upgrades is nobody is ever willing to foot the bill for (witness the uproar over additional taxes and tolls to shore up New York City's MTA budget). In all honesty, I'd love to turn my car into a recreational toy instead of a commuting appliance and use a bus or train to get everywhere I need to, but if I have to choose between a technology is readily available to make cars easier to operate safely versus wholesale changes in mass mobility that may not ever occur in our lifetimes (see: 2nd Ave Subway), I think I'll go with the technology we have today. I've also noticed that most unsafe driving comes from a lack of situational awareness. Drivers who have two eyes, two ears, and a good pair of hands and feet driving quite dangerously because they're not paying attention to the road. Talking on a cell phone (even the hands-free ones), fatigue, trying to keep that burger from falling into their lap, or whatever the causes are turns them into a highway hazard because they're not focused on piloting their huge masses of metal at high speeds. In the presence of such danger surrounding me, I refuse to be singled out as the dangerous one on the road.