This 2010 Lincoln MKT can parallel park all by itself

2010 Lincoln MKT can parallel park all by itself.

My father met my mother because she could not parallel park a car. He spotted her vainly attempting to parallel park a car in front of her house on Labelle Street in Highland Park, Michigan – many years ago. Like a true knight in shining armor, he walked up to her car, which had one wheel over the curb, and offered to help. If Ford had Active Park Assist back then, my parents would never have met!

Available on 2010 Lincoln MKT
Yes, active parallel park assist is coming. Active Park Assist will be available in the new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row luxury crossover vehicle late this summer. Active Park Assist will also be optional on the 2010 Ford Escape and Escape Hybrid, Ford Flex, Mercury Mariner and Mariner Hybrid, and Lincoln MKS. Active Park Assist is enabled by Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) which is standard on 2010 Ford vehicles equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost™ V-6.

How does it work?

  1. The driver activates the system by pressing a console-mounted button. This activates ultrasonic sensors that measure and identify a suitable parking space. When a suitable space is detected an audible signal will sound and the cluster-mounted message center will display a space found notification.
  2. The system then prompts the driver to accept parking assistance. The steering system takes over and steers the car into the parking space, hands free. The driver still shifts the transmission, operates the gas and brakes.
  3. A visual and/or audible driver notification advises the driver about the proximity of other cars and objects and provides instructions. While the steering is done automatically, the driver remains responsible for safe parking and can override the system by grasping the steering wheel.

What else will it do?
Park assist goes beyond other rear vision systems that offer a rear view camera and video projection of where the car is headed. Active Park Assist will coach the driver with a prompt when to stop, shift to reverse and let the system take over. The system is programmed so it will not select an inappropriately sized space. Active Park Assist will calculate the appropriate trajectory, regardless of the distance between the Lincoln MKT and the vehicle parked in the space just ahead. Furthermore, the “trajectory” determined by the system will properly place the vehicle in the selected space.

All steering is performed by the system, so the driver only needs to brake. Active Park Assist also properly positions the vehicle relative to the curb. If the vehicle is not positioned properly in the space, the system will continue to coach the driver for proper placement. The driver will shift and brake normally, but the system steers the vehicle throughout the maneuver.

Active Park Assist permits perfect parallel parking

Ford improves over Lexus
You’ve heard about park assist before – it was introduced on the Lexus LS 460 in 2006. The Lexus version added approximately $3,400.00 to the LS 460 - a car that cost about $60,000 to begin with. No word as to what Active Park Assist will cost on the Lincoln MKT. A quick search of the Internet shows skepticism among reviewers of the Lexus system. See Lexus Parks Itself - Almost. According to published reports, the Lexus system works only on level street surfaces, while the Ford system reportedly will operate on streets with a slight up or down incline. With the introduction of a Park Assist that advances the state of the art ahead of Lexus, Ford can further chip away at that high-tech perception gap between domestics and imports.

Photo and illustration provided by Ford Motor Company