Technically, it’s Ford that’s being formally recognized for their outstanding achievements in the field of safety but it’s Volvo that should be directly credited for nearly every technological advancement Ford has made since 1999. Of course, even as Ford scrambles to ensure the intellectual property they jacked from Volvo doesn’t fall into the scheming hands of Geely, you’ll never catch them acknowledging as much. So, it is with near tella novella-like levels of drama that Ford accepted today Popular Science‘s 2009 “Best of What’s New” award for their Active Park Assist feature.
As the name suggests, APA acts as a digital version of your husband standing on the curb and guiding you into parallel park, minus the argument that would inevitably ensue afterward over his inability to clearly articulate his thoughts. Working in conjunction with passive aids like audible and visual cues that alert the driver to the vehicle’s location and its proximity to other vehicles, curbs, small children, etc, the automated steering system works to independently park itself. The driver is still responsible for maintaining control over the transmission, gas pedal, etc, which would seem painfully obvious to most but was nonetheless reiterated twice in the official press release.
For people like myself whose most cutting-edge piece of in-car technology is a mint condition tapedeck, it’s difficult to pretend like you don’t regard someone who can’t parallel park their own car as being only slightly more cognitively aware than a horned toad. For the rest of you who feel otherwise and are likely drafting up your own scathing review of my intelligence as we speak – relax, take the caps lock off, and hit the jump to check out a soothing video of Active Park Assist in action.