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New Ford Focus Active Park Assist

By Stephen Turvil | May 25, 2011

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Rejoice! The new Ford Focus has an Active Park Assist feature. This makes parallel parking easier than falling-off a booby-trapped log.

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Rejoice! The new Ford Focus has an Active Park Assist feature. This makes parallel parking easier than falling-off a booby-trapped log. Here is how it works. Simply press a button and bodywork mounted sensors search for an empty bay at least 1.2 times the vehicle's length. The system then asks the driver to stop. The Focus then automatically steers into the space - but the motorist controls the throttle, brakes, and transmission.

If the parking bay is particularly tight it may be necessary to move forwards and backwards. The new Ford Focus recognises this and asks the driver to comply. The system them 'beeps' to indicate the manoeuvre is complete. So, motorists find themselves beautifully parked next to the kerb. If there is no defined edge the Focus lines-up with adjacent vehicles. Clearly this is witchcraft, but let's not dunk this family car in the river.

The new Ford Focus' Active Park Assist feature reduces the chances of minor parking scrapes. It also helps motorists squeeze into pint-sized spaces, and makes town driving less stressful. This is remarkable technology that proves Ford has made significant progress since the 1998 Focus mk1. This was a fantastic machine for its time, but entry-level versions lacked comparative basics such as ABS. What a contrast to the new mk3.

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