Ford Focus Park Assist – taking the pain out of parallel parking

Satellite Navigation systems, Transport

Ford Focus football At the weekend those nice folk at Ford took us out to Madrid to race cars around a test track and look over their new Ford Focus. So what I hear you say has a new car to do with tech?

Actually quite a bit as it turns out. We’ve already written about the new in car tech that the Focus has including bluetooth connectivity, wi-fi and a voice activated Satellite Navigation system (just talk to it and it will give you directions – a bit like KITT, the car in the 80s TV series, Knight Rider).

But this time there was an opportunity to test the gear inside for ourselves as well as thrash the hell out of the car and, er, play football with it, as you do. See picture above . One thing we also got to test was a new feature called Park Assist which was good fun.

This actually takes the hard work out of reversing into a parking space. All you do is go along a line of cars with your indicator on and the car will find a space that’s big enough to get into. Then you press a button and put the car into reverse and it will steer the wheel into the space for you.

It’s good but not foolproof. You do need to make sure you are close enough to the parked cars for it to recognise a space and you also need to brake once the proximity sensors beep. Which is what one of the guests forgot to do and ended up crashing into the car behind him. Whoops!

You can see the video of me not crashing the car but still looking pensive – below.

Thanks to Ford and Jochen Siegle from German tech site Tech Fieber for putting up with my lunatic driving

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