Ford test car avoids crashes, parks itself

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Ford has demonstrated a new 'crash proof' car that avoids collisions and even parks itself.

The motor giant's Fully Assisted Parking Aid and Obstacle Avoidance prototype technologies were showcased for the first time today at its test facilities in Lommel, Belgium. The parking aid enables drivers to park "at the touch of a button" from inside or outside their car, by controlling steering, gear selection, and forward and reverse motion. The crash avoidance technology, developed as part of a Ford-led and European-funded research project, uses automatic steering and braking to avoid collisions with vehicles and pedestrians. The test vehicle issues a warning first if it detects slow-moving objects, stationary obstacles or pedestrians in the same lane ahead. If the driver fails to steer or brake following those warnings the system will then automatically steer and brake to avoid a collision. "The future for Ford means developing innovative products and technologies that help deliver a safer, more convenient, more desirable, more personalised and greener driving and ownership experience," said Barb Samardzich, vice president of product development for Ford. The next step, says Ford, is to make both technologies available to drivers as a feature on a production vehicle.