Park Assist - parfour

Is anybody out there familiar with the option that is available on some Ford vehicles known as 'Park Assist'. I think it might be available on other marques as well and I was wondering how practical it was in real life driving (or parking) situations. The TV advert shows what looks like a Focus manoeuvring itself into a narrow glass walled space with no apparent input from the driver. I was wondering what would happen (or, indeed, what does happen) when the vehicle is in, say, a supermarket car park with 2 adjacent bays empty. Does the system park the car in the middle of the available space, thereby using up both bays, or does it magically select one of the bays? The system is not ridiculously expensive for what it is capable of doing but I wonder how practical it is in the real world of very tight parking spaces. I also realise that my hypothetical supermarket situation is not likely to be in evidence much over the next couple of weeks (if ever).

Park Assist - RobJP

It's designed for parallel parking, not for reversing (or driving) into a space 'nose on' or 'tail on'.

My BMW hasn't got it (it was an option, but the day I can't parallel park is the day I hand in my licence), but I have seen it in action. Eerie, to say the least. Especially when the engineers sit themselves as the 'other' cars that you're parking up to.

Park Assist - daveyjp
My Mercedes has it and it is only for parallel parking. By the time it activates I have parked the car. Waste of time.
Park Assist - colinh

That's the old Parking Assist for parallel parking - which is available with a lot of manufacturers. The newer technology is Fully Assisted Parking Aid which is useful in tight spaces/garages - see attached, for example:

www.extremetech.com/extreme/168194-fords-amazing-n...r

Edited by colinh on 21/12/2014 at 08:29

Park Assist - daveyjp
I don't think they thought this through. If a space is so tight how do you get out of the car?
Park Assist - Hamsafar

Most of these systems seem to wind lock to lock very fast while stationary which ruins the tyres.

Park Assist - RobJP
I don't think they thought this through. If a space is so tight how do you get out of the car?

It's designed for parallel parking, so not an issue.

Park Assist - bathtub tom
I don't think they thought this through. If a space is so tight how do you get out of the car?
Park your car from outside the car

Never mind that, how do you get back into it?

Park Assist - Chris M

A colleague had a 61 reg Focus. It was top of the range (Titanium?) with most of the option list added including the parking thingy. She said she had never used it other than as a party trick for friends who wanted to see it work. She now has a 63 reg, again top spec., but with a little less from the options list. The only thing she says she misses is the blind spot warning.

Park Assist - gordonbennet

Sorry but i find this stuff extremely sad, far too many people buy cars which are simply too big for them, and never think to check turning circle before they order, hence why its so painful to watch the rep types in motorway service areas trying to drive into spaces, in one shunt, in Audi A6's, Mondeos and Insignias, each with turning circles of supertanker proportions....you see them in some service areas all in a herringbone pattern where they've driven straight in at and angle across two bays and the clones have followed suit.

What happened to the simple as can be reverse park, anyone who can't manage that shouldn't be on the road at all, its a doddle by mirrors alone if need be.

A parallel park should be simple enough, yet i see enough people drive into a parallel park and spend the next 10 shunts edging the vehicle over to where it would have been in one move had they reversed in.

Again some people don't actually buy cars practical for them, if you buy an Insignia with the most utterly useless door mirrors ever fitted, then you'd better be pretty good at ESP or expect scrapes especially of kerbed wheels, which its impossible to see through the mirrors.

If you bought an early Audi TT rolling coffin, you needed a periscope to see out the horizontal arrow slits laughingly called windows, but these makes and models are not alone in fashion first design.

The most sensible value for money fitment are parking sensors, rear mainly but useful both ends on high or longer vehicles, the correct use of these enabling the maxiumum use of for and aft space available.

Then a bit of practice and the good sense to keep windows and mirrors clean make the world of difference, we really don't need all this electronic control tat just to park a car.

Park Assist - parfour

Thanks for the (sometimes inaccurate) input, but can anybody answer my original query - How does the system cope with a space that is wide enough for two vehicles? I realise that some contributors will pooh pooh the fact that anybody should require assistance to reverse into a wide space but that does not provide an answer.

Park Assist - RobJP

Thanks for the (sometimes inaccurate) input, but can anybody answer my original query - How does the system cope with a space that is wide enough for two vehicles? I realise that some contributors will pooh pooh the fact that anybody should require assistance to reverse into a wide space but that does not provide an answer.

Tell you what : those of us who have replied have done so to the best of our abilities. Why don't you go and test-drive one, and find out for yourself ?

If our inputs are inaccurate, then feel free to go and find out, and come back and correct us. But don't blame us for not having encyclopaedic knowledge of a subject.

Park Assist - Hamsafar

Or just look on youtube at the countless demos.

Park Assist - parfour

RobJP, many of your posts seem to be somewhat aggressive, suggesting that the topics to which you reply do not deserve to be discussed and that those who request information are wasting your time. Is it that you look upon those of us who are not regular contributors as 'Jonny-Come-Latelys' who are invading your cosy little club? The inaccuracy to which I referred was specifically directed at your original response to my enquiry which you dismissed because you said that the 'Park Assist' function only worked in a parallel parking situation, a statement which you repeated in a later post and which is palpably wrong.

I apologise for my unwelcome intrusion into your private 'club' and you can rest assured that I will not be imposing myself on your territory in future.

Park Assist - RobJP

RobJP, many of your posts seem to be somewhat aggressive, suggesting that the topics to which you reply do not deserve to be discussed and that those who request information are wasting your time. Is it that you look upon those of us who are not regular contributors as 'Jonny-Come-Latelys' who are invading your cosy little club? The inaccuracy to which I referred was specifically directed at your original response to my enquiry which you dismissed because you said that the 'Park Assist' function only worked in a parallel parking situation, a statement which you repeated in a later post and which is palpably wrong.

I apologise for my unwelcome intrusion into your private 'club' and you can rest assured that I will not be imposing myself on your territory in future.

And yet, if you go here, for example :

www.bmw.co.uk/en_GB/new-vehicles/3/gran-turismo/20...l

and scroll down to 'park assist', it specifically states that

"Park Assist helps you to manoeuvre into parking spaces parallel to the direction of travel. The system can also measure the size of the parking space in passing (at speeds below 22 mph)."

So according to that, the information I gave you is correct.

EDIT : also found on wikipedia, with about 1 minute's worth of searching, on here :

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_parking

In 2009, Ford introduced their Active Park Assist beginning with their Lincoln models. It does parallel parking.

Maybe I'm intolerant of people. But I (and others) made an effort to help out, and we got criticised for not providing what you felt was a perfect answer. Well, if you look above, and then scroll through the initial answers, then you'll see that we were correct after all.

I'll happily accept your apology, but I somewhat doubt it'll be forthcoming.

Edited by RobJP on 21/12/2014 at 22:30

Park Assist - parfour

RobJP

Yes, I'm well aware that you were of the opinion that Park Assist was only available for parallel parking but if you look at the post of colinh (08.29 on 21/12) you will see that he names a website that states quite clearly that Ford's Park Assist system includes perpendicular and angled parking spaces thus rendering your statement that it only applies to parallel parking incorrect.

I appreciate the fact that you and others 'made an effort' to help out and I am indeed grateful for all of your contributions but the fact remains that nobody actually had an answer to my original query. Stating inaccurately (as you did) that Park Assist was not designed to cater for perpendicular parking makes your subsequent comment that 'we were correct after all' totally fallacious.

With reference to the final sentence in your reply, what is it, exactly, that you want me to apologise for?

Park Assist - RobJP

Stating inaccurately (as you did) that Park Assist was not designed to cater for perpendicular parking makes your subsequent comment that 'we were correct after all' totally fallacious.

Unfortunately, the post from colinh that you refer to is about a prototype system, not something on the market at present. If you read the article in full, it states that :

The Full Assisted Parking Aid (FAPA?) is a follow-on to Ford’s Active Parking Assist (also FAPA?) for automated parallel parking

The car would automatically switch gears , accelerate, steer, and brake. The driver’s function is to keep his or her finger on the button during the maneuver. It wasn’t clear if the car can also park head-first; some communities in the US require head-in parking.

And, at the end of the article : Ford didn’t say how soon the two technologies will come to market. We estimate it would be within the year.

So, to summarise, that article states that the current park assist is for automated parallel parking, that it is 'not clear' if the new system could do head-on parking, and that Ford did not say how soon the tech will come to market, but the article writer estimates within a year.

Park Assist - parfour

RobJP

I'm not sure that I've got the energy or the interest to continue this little bit of banter but, in the interests of pedantry, I would point out that the article that you quote (the one originally posted by colinh) was dated Oct 8 2013. The Active Park Assist feature, including 'perpendicular park assist and park out assist' is a standard fitting in the All New Ford Focus TitaniumX which is available now so your earlier dismissal of my enquiry about the system was, as I stated, fallacious. Enquiries that I have made elsewhere have suggested that the answer to my original query is that the system automatically parks the car perpendicularly in the centre of the available space, which could, I suppose, raise issues with other drivers waiting to park alongside.

On the more general subject of responses to queries on forums such as this one and countless others on a wide variety of subjects, I have always thought of the forums as the internet equivalent of a chat in the local pub rather than an inquisition into whether a subject is worthy of comment. As I mentioned earlier your brusque manner has had the effect of dissuading me from further involvement (not that anybody else will be even slightly interested). I used to be a reasonably active member of this forum several years ago under a different handle and I left it as a result of similar behaviour by certain individuals at that time.

I tend to be a bit touchy about these sort of things.

Park Assist - cockle {P}

Not sure that you're going to find anyone on here who's got experience of it as it's a new feature just added to the new 2015 model Focus.

The previous Parking Assist, which I have on my 2013 Focus, and have hardly used, does only do parallel parking but the 2015 model has Enhanced Parking Assist which uses two additional sensors and gives the perpendicular parking facility. The 2015 model will also offer Park Out which is similar in operation to EPA but is designed to get you out of tight spots.

The usual vague details are on the Ford UK website.

Edited by cockle {P} on 22/12/2014 at 00:45

Park Assist - RobJP

Just a thought ...

When Google wanted to test their self-driving cars in the UK, I seem to recall they had to get special dispensation, with lots of safeguards and special insurances in place, because it is unlawful to not be in 'full control' of a vehicle at all times. For example, leaving your engine running while popping into a shop is actually a criminal offence, not just something that will invalidate your insurance if the car gets stolen.

I wonder how the law would view these systems ?

Park Assist - Chris M

What's "full control"?

There are so many 'safety' systems to get you out of trouble and also those that just help make life easier (allegedly). Are you in full control when a computer controls wheelspin pulling away from the lights a bit sharpish or a slide when cornering fast? I guess having your finger on a button whilst the car parks itself means that the driver is ultimately in control. Take your finger off and the car stops what it's doing.

 

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