Ford's new prototype cars can park themselves, avoid obstacles at high speed

Ford has now unveiled two new automotive systems that will not only help cars park themselves, but also avoid obstacles at high speeds...

The concept of self-driven cars may not be as far-fetched as we expected earlier. Automaker Ford has now announced two new driving technologies that could help make parking easier and also increase the safety factor of cars. The company has also developed a set of prototypes showing off the new systems.

The first, called Fully Assisted Parking Aid system (quite a mouth full) can be activated with a simple push of a button. And the best part is that you don’t need to be inside the car to activate the new system. The Parking aid will basically help to control the steering, braking, forward and reverse motions as well as gear changes of the car. The prototype is slated to provide drivers with help in difficult parking situations. But what about those tricky corners that could result in you losing a bit of paint?

The solution comes in the form of the company’s second new prototype, called the Obstacle Avoidance system. As the name suggests, the new tech uses automatic braking and steering to avoid accidents with both vehicles and pedestrians. And that is just one aspect of how the new system can help you drive. You can have a look at how the new systems work in the video below:

 

The new autonomous parking technology is definitely intriguing because it shows that a vehicle is capable of driving itself without the driver interfering, albeit in the safety of a parking lot. The driver need only step out of the vehicle and activate a button on a keychain, and the car’s sensors, transmission and engine works out the rest.

Currently, users have quite a few assisted parking systems to choose from, but they are all still driver guided. This means that while the car does the steering, the driver needs to handle the brake and the gear shifts. Ford’s prototype, on the other hand, can not only act on its own, but is also capable of finding the best parking space in a lot and setting the right trajectory to get into that space. That being said, the automaker has placed some safeguards to the process. If a driver takes his finger off the keychain button, the car stops moving. While parking is great, it was the Obstacle Avoidance system that really caught our eye.

The second prototype, by the looks of it, is a few moves ahead of automated driver assistance (ADA) systems currently seen in many vehicles. The difference between the two is that the new tech takes over the steering and brakes even when the car is moving at a high speed. Current ADA systems can automatically hit the breaks while reversing if a pedestrian were to cross the path of the moving car. It can also adjust the car’s cruise control if the driver encounters traffic and can even help gently push the car back onto the right lane if the driver begins to drift.

Ford’s new system, on the other hand, can take complete control of the vehicle at highway speeds whenever necessary to avoid potential accidents. And that difference is the biggest point separating current ADA systems from an autonomous car. While Ford has not given a clear timeline for the new systems, it is expected that the automaker is working around the clock to finalise the prototypes for commercial use.

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