Ford claims healthy take-up of its auto park-assist system

Ford says it is pleased with customer acceptance of its new automatic parking system, which lowers the stress of parallel parking.

Ford says 19 percent of the 12,352 Lincoln MKS sedans sold through September have been equipped with the system, called Active Park Assist.

On the Lincoln MKT crossover, the rate was 26 percent of the first month’s sales of 455 vehicles.

Active Park Assist, which is made by Valeo, is available as a standalone option on the MKS for $535. On the Ford Flex and MKT, it is a $595 option. Active Park Assist also is available on the 2010 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner crossovers.

The system uses ultrasonic sensors in the bumpers to measure the distance between two parked vehicles. If the space between the vehicles is deemed sufficient, the system prompts the driver to release the steering wheel.

Using the vehicle’s electronic power steering, Active Park Assist steers the vehicle into the space while the driver works the brake and accelerator. Parking usually takes about 30 seconds or less.

Toyota offers a camera-based self-parking system on the Prius hybrid as part of a $4,769 package, as well as on Lexus vehicles. Toyota says about 5 percent of Prius buyers get the system, which is bundled in a $4,769 option package.

The Toyota system requires more driver input than Ford’s. The driver in a Prius or Lexus must use the car’s navigation screen to determine the distance between two objects.

Courtesy: Cnet.

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