Ford to unveil car that can find its own parking spot

BY newsdesk  October 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM EDT

While cars that can park themselves is nothing new in automotive technology, Ford says it has developed a car that can seek its own parking spot, and then shimmy its way on in, even in tight circumstances.

The Michigan automaker intends to unveil this new system today to journalists at its proving ground in Belgium. The Detroit News reports that Ford has not announced plans to include the technology in specific vehicles, but said it will take a serious look at implementing it in the future.

The newspaper has this description of how the technology works:

Ultrasonic sensors can detect an open parallel, diagonal or perpendicular parking space ahead while a vehicle is traveling up to 18 miles per hour, with enough lead time that the driver doesn’t overshoot the space.

The driver can then brake, shift to neutral, and press and hold the Fully Assisted Parking Aid button in the car. At that point, parking-aid software will maneuver the vehicle into the parking space by taking control of the steering, forward and reverse motion, braking and guidance. Disengaging the button will override the parking process.

If the parking spot is really narrow — with little room to open the car door and exit — the driver can get out of the car and guide the whole parking process by remote control.