During the 2009 New York auto show, Ford let us try out a couple of technologies it is introducing. The first is called Active Park, and parallel parks your car for you. Lexus previously rolled out a self-parking car with its LS model, but Ford has refined the concept and made it more user-friendly.
For the demonstration, we got into a Lincoln MKS equipped with the technology and started driving. After pushing a button to activate the system, the car goes into parking spot search mode. We drove by two cars parked at the curb, and the system told us we could fit in the space between them, and advised us where to stop so it could commence parallel parking.
As with the Lexus system, we had to put the MKS in reverse and control the brake and the accelerator, but the car handles the steering. As we backed up, the wheel spun around on its own accord, steering the car into the spot. The park distance warning sensors sounded off as we got close to the car behind us, and the Active Park system flashed a message that it was time to pull forward. Putting the car into Drive, the wheel again turned, straightening the MKS out so it would be parallel to the curb. … Read more