Feature Friday: Park Assist

Feature Friday: Park Assist
The button in the upper right quadrant activates the Active Park Assist system on the 2020 Ford Escape. (Photo by Jill Ciminillo)

Because of living in Chicago, I've become a master parallel parker. I'm also damn good at backing into a garage or parking space. But not everyone is.

For example, whenever my sister from Indy comes to visit, she always hands me her keys so I can park her car. For whatever reason, she just can't do it. Believe me, I've seen her try. It isn't pretty. So, as she's looking for a new car, I've recommended she get something with park assist.

This is yet another feature that goes by many different names depending on the manufacturer, but thankfully, most automakers use some form of "park assist" or "parking assistant" in the title to clue you in. The idea is, the car will help you either parallel or perpendicular park the vehicle using cameras and radar.

Depending on how advanced the system is, it may only activate steering, and the driver has to use the brakes. Some will operate both steering and braking. So, all you have to do is hit a button and follow the directions on screen.

Using the new Ford Escape as an example, the Advanced Park Assist will measure available parallel parking spaces to find one the vehicle will fit in, then steer and brake to get the vehicle in the spot. The driver, however, must shift into drive or reverse.

The system can park the vehicle on either side of the street, just use your turn signal to indicate which side you're parking on.

A great thing about the Advanced Park Assist on Ford vehicles is that it will also get you out of a spot. This could be especially helpful in Chicago when someone has parked a little close for comfort!

Below is a video from Ford Motor Co. walking you through how the system works.

Other items in the Feature Friday series:

Filed under: Feature Friday

Leave a comment