Ford Rumored to Dump Parking Assist Moving Forward

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Ford is said to be in early stages of dumping parking assistance features on future models because drivers aren’t using the feature enough. Active Park Assist has been around for over a decade at this point. However, the computer-guided parallel parking feature is supposedly not going to be appearing in future models as a way to help the automaker cut production costs.

In a conference call heard by CarBuzz, Ford COO Kumar Galhotra said the parallel parking feature doesn’t see a lot of use and could likely be eliminated without creating an uproar while saving Blue Oval an estimated $10 million per year. 

“So one example is an auto-park feature that lets the customer parallel park automatically. Very, very few people are using it, so we can remove that feature. It’s about $60 per vehicle,” he said.

From CarBuzz:

The parallel parking assistance feature is part of Ford's Active Park Assist suite of driver-assistance tech. Introduced in 2009, it was among the first commercially available systems of its kind (Toyota being the first a few years prior), with the aim to alleviate the "stress" from the so-called "challenging" parking procedure.
Since then, several Ford vehicles received the feature, even the entry-level ones. Today, almost every brand-new vehicle with driver-assist features offers active parallel parking assistance.
However, the feature isn't exactly something that customers use extensively, as Galhotra remarked. The company discovered this by using connected vehicle data from its customers.
The Active Park Assist, now in version 2.0, is still being offered to Ford vehicles today as part of Ford's Co-Pilot360 — an SAE Level 2 autonomous driving technology. The F-150 Lightning and the newly launched facelifted Explorer, among other Ford vehicles, currently include the feature, but perhaps not for much longer.

As someone who parks vehicles on the regular, your author can comfortably say that most parking assistance features don’t tend to see a lot of use beyond that initial curiosity. The systems either work flawlessly or muck things up so badly that you vow to never use them again. The only real exception are rear-view cameras, which are nice to have considering how high beltlines have impacted the outward visibility of modern automobiles. While you should always check your surroundings manually to ensure safety, having a little camera that addresses the blind spot directly behind the vehicle is nice. 

Meanwhile, features like Ford’s Active Park Assist tend to be a little slower than slotting the vehicle in the space yourself. It’s certainly impressive to see the car managing the task itself. But the action is always a little unsettling, requiring operators to hold their foot over the brake as the car does its thing, and is often slower than having a competent driver just park the vehicle without any automated help. Still, there will definitely be some people who will miss the feature once it’s gone.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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3 of 40 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Feb 15, 2024

    Apologies for linking to a 'short' - if you do watch it, watch it until the end. 😉

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Feb 19, 2024

    "...However, the feature isn't exactly something that customers use extensively, as Galhotra remarked. The company discovered this by using connected vehicle data from its customers..."

    THIS is what we should be concerned about...

    • Dr Mindbender Dr Mindbender on Mar 13, 2024

      Hello!!!!! This is the kind of data "your" car sends to other people. Some may not mind big brother LITERALLY looking over your shoulder, but I would literally put a foil cap over the antenna of a rental should I be in such an unfortunate place. As for purchasing something that beams my life to some fking bean counters??? HARD NOPE. The fact that people put up with this shhht is completely flabbergasting. Do you own (control) your car or DOES IT OWN YOU? The only thing going in our favor is the grandfathering tradition of common law practiced in the US. Just like the guns, they can't really take away your cars. So long as it has the safety equipment installed from the factory, general "travelling" (that's a legal term) shouldn't be able to be prohibited in the next few hundred years. All the way up thru the ECU era, we can all keep building, restoring, and driving UN-connected cars... cars that can neither beam or receive (maybe except GPS) ANYTHING. I bought a Boxster instead of a Volt a few years ago and I am seriously thanking myself for going analog. Don't get me wrong, I love and use computers and the internet...but I have literally NEVER seen a targeted ad that had anything to do with any of my real thoughts.

  • Jkross22 It very much depends on the dealer. Just bought a replacement for the CX9. A local dealer gave a $500 discount on a CPO car while another one gave a few thousand dollar discount but was out of the area and we had to drive 5 hours to get. The local dealer still seems to think it's 2022 and cars appreciate when sitting on the lot. I wish them luck.
  • Ajla "and the $34K price doesn't seem too steep." Respectfully disagree. This would be okay at $29K. $34k clangs into way too much.
  • FreedMike i puUut pUniZhR sTikKr oNn mY KoMMpAs aNd nOW i hEeR Eegle SkReem. (And no one knows it's made in Mexico.)
  • SCE to AUX What a farce.Besides, "patriotism" has been redefined a hundred different ways in the last 20+ years. Disagree with one of them, and you're a traitor.And for starters, Jeep is a Stellantis brand with its HQ in the Netherlands. If this persistent myth about patriotism is ever cracked, the brand is doomed.
  • MaintenanceCosts I'm definitely seeing more dealer-level discounts than I did a year ago, but not a lot of lower MSRPs.