If you are a car owner, you might have already experienced the hassle of finding a right parking spot and cumbersome efforts to park your vehicle correctly. Most of the parking lots, especially in the Delhi-NCR malls and other hangout zones, are highly crowded and chances are you spend a lot of time finding a space. It gets more difficult to parallel park, even for the experienced drivers. Ford is trying to address this age-old issue with its Semi-Auto Parallel Park Assist technology. We recently tried out this feature along with Ford’s built-in infotainment system ‘Sync’. Here is our experience with the latest Ford Endeavour SUV.
As the name implies Ford’s Parallel Park Assist technology allows you to automatically parallel park your vehicle. Well, it isn’t completely automatic as it requires little bit of manual help from the driver while following the instructions on the display. So, how does it work?
If you are looking for a parking spot, you need to press a parking button located near the gear. Once you have pressed the button, car’s sensors will begin scanning for space that will fit in your car. Once the sensors find the space, a message will pop up on the display.
While you have to control the accelerator and brake, steering moves automatically. A few things you have to be careful about is follow the instructions given. If you inadvertently block the steering, the process will prematurely end. During our usage, the feature worked just fine and gave a glimpse of how the experience on the future smart driverless cars could be. That said, there are a few things that could have made the experience much better.
One of the things I would have loved is that the car could find parking spaces on both sides of the road. It currently does only for the left, which may possibly be because India follows the left hand rule for traffic. But our parking areas aren’t so systematic and one may require to park car on the right hand side of the road.
Another thing that Ford could work to improve upon is consistency of parking the cars accurately. Not that it doesn’t park the car correctly and maintains right distance between cars parked in the front and back, but drivers have to stay alert as it may not be right all the time. While we did get the Ford Park Assist right most of the times, but there were a few occasions when we had to switch to manual. We did a Live video on Facebook while experiencing Ford’s Parallel Park Assist technology. You can check that out.
We almost nicked the front of the car while relying on the system and it seems there are some blindspots for the sensors. Having said that, it is a helpful feature to assist with parking though we won’t rely completely on it just yet.
Infotainment systems are increasingly becoming an integral part of modern cars. Soon we can expect Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay to roll out to more cars. Ford’s Endeavour comes with its own Ford Sync infotainment system, which was developed with Microsoft. The service allows you to pair your smartphone with the car via Bluetooth, and access key features like contacts, calls and messages through voice controls. The system works with both iOS and Android smartphones.
For making a call, you need to just give a voice command – Call <Contact Name>. The car also comes with quick buttons placed on the steering that lets you accept and reject calls without getting distracted while driving. Besides making and receiving calls, you can also use voice commands to manage your music on USB, Disk and even FM Radio. For an example you can say “Play 91.1 FM” and the system will play that particular radio channel. A few important voice commands that could come in handy for you are “Play all” for playing all tracks, “Previous / Next”, and “Pause / Play.” Say “Dial” to dial a particular phone number.
Another interesting thing you can do is set temperature of the car through voice commands. You have to say “Climate temperature <number> degrees” for a particular temperature you want to set. Similarly, you can say “AC <on / off>”, “Climate <on / off>” and so on.
Ford Sync is quite a smart infotainment system. It actually helps you focus on driving without getting distracted much with calls or controlling music. We thoroughly enjoyed this feature during our road trips. That said it may take a little bit of time to get used to getting the voice commands right, but then after a while it becomes simpler and easier to use.
To access all these cool features you need to own the new Ford Endeavour, which is available for price starting at Rs 24,93,700.