Following Volvo’s autonomous self-parking vehicle concept and animal collision avoidance system, Ford is now working on technology that will enable drivers to park at the touch of a button from inside or outside their car, plus a prototype that will automatically steer and brake to avoid collisions with vehicles or pedestrians.
A Ford Focus equipped with the prototype Fully Assisted Parking system has been produced by the carmaker’s Research and Advanced Engineering division. The system, which can be controlled remotely from outside the car, takes charge of steering, gear selection, as well as forward and reverse motion.
According to the video, cars have grown wider by as much as 16% on average over the past 20 years, but many parking spaces in Europe are still the same size. With the Fully Assisted Parking system, the driver could get out of the car and remotely squeeze the car into a tight spot that would be difficult to alight from. Needless to say, the technology is also useful when leaving a parking space.
The Focus is also equipped with Obstacle Avoidance, which warns the driver of slow-moving objects, stationary obstacles or pedestrians in the lane ahead. If the driver fails to react to the warnings, the system automatically steers and brakes around the obstacle. The system uses radars, ultrasonic sensors and a camera to scan the road up to 200 metres ahead.
The results of the Obstacle Avoidance project are due to be presented at the end of the year.