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General : New Fords to parallel park for you, with just a push of the button
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 Message 1 of 4 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameT-o-r-s-t-e-n  (Original Message)Sent: 12/30/2008 2:04 PM


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 Message 2 of 4 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 12/30/2008 7:34 PM
Didn't a car come out last year that does that? Um....gah, I forget which car it is. Lexus maybe?
 
I dunno - it's a really cool feature (and probably necessary for some people, lol), but the day I can't parallel park is the day I should just stop driving at all. But I love the challenge of a tricky parallel park job, so...I'm a geek, lol.
 

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 Message 3 of 4 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameT-o-r-s-t-e-nSent: 12/31/2008 3:15 PM
Yeah Lexus came out with it first, but it isn't as good as the Ford system.  Like Ford, which is unveiling it in their luxury division Lincoln models first, Toyota's system debuted in, I believe it was, their ultrapricey flagship sedan, whatever they call their competitor to Mercedes S and BMW 7--and all new technology always comes out in expensive models first, just as new TV technologies like plasma and dlp cost so much more when they are new. 
 
But anyway, Ford's usage of ultrasonic technology together with electric power steering is considered superior to Toyota's video-based self-parking system.  Reviews state that Ford's system is easier to use--push of a button to engage the process plus gas/brake, but no steering wheel interaction--and also works in downhill situations, unlike Toyota's, and works as a warning indicator system to alert you to blind spot objects if there are any present, coming or going.
 
What's more is that bit about the electric power steering.  This has less to do with its role in self-parking that it does in its mere existence.  Electric power steering runs off a battery rather than a hydraulic pump, which is good for that whole desire for improved fuel economy and reduction of emissions business.  The article states Ford will have 90% of its vehicles produced with electric power steering. 
 
All this is very good and I think a big reason this is happening at Ford is because they went outside of the car industry to find a new CEO.  Mulally came from Boeing--which was getting its lunch eaten by Airbus and as that's the airline industry, it's sort of a parallel species--after turning around their boorish performance in recent times and I can't help but think this electric power steering is sort of like a little sister to the fly by wire technology planes that came to market.  (Although, the coolest new steering system I've ever seen was on a Mercedes concept vehicle which sported no wheel whatsoever; rather, a joystick-like device in the center console which permitted either driver or passenger to steer and drive.)

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 Message 4 of 4 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 12/31/2008 9:48 PM
Wow, Ford is being innovative! Never thought I'd see the day.
 
We were a long-time Ford family (with the exception of GM with regards to the Caddie) until the 90s. It's possibly worth another reconsideration here - I would rather keep the tradition if Ford makes it feasible.
 
I've always wanted a Lincoln Towncar, lol. (Or a Crown Vic - love 'em both!)
 
 

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