Two Lincolns -- the MKT luxury crossover and the MKS large sedan -- will offer a self-parking feature as an option in mid-2009. Ford expects the system to get a warmer reception than the "park assist"
program on the $63,675 Lexus LS 460L luxury sedan received a couple of years ago. It quickly became the butt of jokes because of its slow and inconsistent operation, Mark Phelan reports.
Ford is using ultrasonic sensors rather than cameras to provide its system with more precise data for parking, making it faster and more accurate, says Ali Jammoul, Ford's chief engineer for chassis
engineering and steering systems. Ford calls the system Active Park Assist. Once activated, it measures parking spaces and alerts the driver when the car passes one the right size. With one touch, it
then backs the car into the space.
Mark Fields, president of Ford's North and South American operations, says the technology is part of a "steady stream" of advanced new features the
company is introducing to rebuild its image as a technical leader.
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