Almost a month after Ford first revealed a self-parking car, and technology that enables vehicles to avoid objects in the road ahead, both stories continue to generate strong coverage across Europe’s media. Ford Driving Skills for Life also features widely in printed and online publications as driver training gets underway in Europe…
Daily Mail Online (UK) asks whether Ford Fully Assisted Parking Aid could spell the end of door dents, adding: “Cars are getting wider and wider, but parking spaces are still the same size they have been for decades, causing dinks and scrapes as motorists struggle to park their unwieldy vehicles. But now Ford has developed a car that can park itself - while the driver stands outside… The driver simply gets out and holds down a button on the key fob and the car takes over, using state-of-the-art motion sensor technology. The process takes around 10 seconds.”
Coche Actual (Spain) is also impressed: “Ford is developing a new system that will allow drivers to park at the touch of a button from inside or outside of the car. The technology, called Fully Assisted Parking Aid, is in the prototype stage. The experts in Advanced Research and Engineering at Ford of Europe applied existing advances like the PowerShift transmission, which can electronically shift without the driver’s intervention, and Active Park Assist, which can look for a suitable parking spot and manoeuvre the car into the space. How does it work? Fully Assisted Parking Aid uses ultrasonic sensors to identify an adequate parking spot. The driver then activates the system by putting the car into neutral and pushing a button, either inside the car or outside using a remote control. The driver must continue pressing the button throughout the manoeuvre.”
Il Messaggero (Italy) reports on Obstacle Avoidance: “The car of the future will have to be safe, eco-friendly, easy to use, fun to drive and connected to the rest of the world. It’s a challenge that a manufacturer like Ford cannot avoid. At its testing center in Lommel, Belgium, the Blue Oval is preparing the car of the near future. How would you like to drive a car that avoids obstacles at speeds of up to 60km/h? Ford is developing this technology, which we tested. The idea is not to take control away from the driver, but to compensate for the distractions that cause most accidents. The system scans the road up to 200m ahead of the car. If an obstacle is detected, the driver is warned. If he fails to respond, the system brakes and swerves automatically. But perfect safety will come from car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications, which will allow all hazards to be avoided. The information exchanged will help traffic to flow better and cars to consume less fuel.”
Ansa.it (Italy) applauds the launch of Ford Driving Skills for Life training in Italy: “Organized in collaboration with La Sapienza University of Rome and Campus Mentis, Ford’s driving academy has clear value in terms of saving lives on our roads. In Europe, 40 per cent of young people admit to using smartphones and texting at the wheel. Many deaths in car accidents are represented by youths between the ages of 18 and 25. Ford’s training sessions are held on a closed track where participants learn to deal with hazardous situations. One of the fundamental lessons concerns drunk driving, and the young motorists wear goggles that simulate the effects of intoxication on vision. To learn about vehicle control, the students drive a Ford Fiesta equipped with special “slippery” tires. They learn to use the pedals and steering to keep the car from veering off the road. Another entertaining test involves manoeuvring around cones while texting on a smartphone. The participants leave the session feeling motivated and eager to drive more cautiously and preventively.
It is no coincidence that Ford has been presented with the Campus Mentis 2013 Company Award in Italy in recognition of its contribution to education through Ford Driving Skills for Life.”
Italy’s La Repubblica Online also runs the story: “Ford has rolled out a program to provide young motorists with free safety training. The first session, held at the ACI Vallelunga Circuit, had more than 270 participants. Over the course of two days, the students received practical and theoretical lessons to help them to recognize and respond to dangerous situations. Also, the Ford driving instructors emphasized the risk of distractions like smartphone use at the wheel. Driving Skills for Life has a format that allows young people to learn about road safety and responsible driving in a fun and stimulating way. By facing potentially risky driving situations in a controlled environment, the participants become better-prepared to handle them in real life.”