Ford said it is developing several new technologies for the car including auto-park for perpendicular parking into typical parking spaces without the driver touching the wheel. Currently Ford offers auto-parallel parking hands free.
The car maker also has put into prototype a “Traffic Jam Assist” feature that uses radar and camera technology to help your car keep pace with other cars in traffic. It also provides automated steering control to keep you in your lane. The aim is to reduce driver stress and improve traffic flow.
If only a quarter of drivers had Traffic Jam Assist, traffic delays could be reduced by 20 percent and drivers could improve destination times by almost 38 percent, according to simulation studies, said Ford.
“Drivers spend more than 30 percent of their time in heavy traffic,” said Joseph Urhahne, engineer with Ford Research and Innovation. “Traffic Jam Assist could help make traveling through congestion a more relaxing experience and, by keeping pace with the flow of traffic, potentially help relieve road congestion.”
Many of the sensing technologies used in Traffic Jam Assist are already found on current Ford Focus, Escape and Fusion models.
As for the auto-parking feature, it works by pressing a button in the center console. “When a suitable space is detected, the system will advise the driver to stop with an audible and visual warning. The driver will then be told to put the vehicle into reverse gear and operate brakes and clutch, if needed, while the car controls the steering wheel,” Ford said.