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Ford Showcases Self-Parking Car Technology

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the look-ma-no-hands dept.

Transportation 233

MojoKid writes "Although the dream of roads full of driverless cars is a ways off, several companies such as Tesla and Google are taking steps toward that goal by developing self-driving car technology. Ford is now also demonstrating self-parking technology called Fully Assisted Parking Aid that will actually help a driver locate a spot and then make the car automatically park itself--without the driver inside. Indeed, you'll be able to hop out of the car and use a smartphone app to tell your car to park itself. This is ideal for both parking in tight spaces (i.e., you don't have to squeeze your way out of your vehicle while trying not to bang the next car's door) and for those who are just terrible at parking to begin with."

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Fully Asisted Parkin Aid (4, Funny)

CurryCamel (2265886) | about 10 months ago | (#45088919)

or FAP-Aid for short?

Dumber and dumber (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088921)

Aren't we just encouraging people to become less skilled and overall less intelligent when we remove the necessity to actually learn skills like driving? How long will it be before you can skate through life without having to learn anything at all?

Re:Dumber and dumber (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088943)

Yes, it all started downhill when we let others figure out what plants were edible, dispatch animals to provide our meat, and where to shit w/o contaminating the water we drink....

Then they invented the syncro-mesh so we didn't have to learn how to double clutch to avoid crashing the gears...

Did I miss anything else?

Re:Dumber and dumber (3, Funny)

Tailhook (98486) | about 10 months ago | (#45089019)

Did I miss anything else?

That whole fire thing.

Should have secured the IP on that before we let it get away from us.

Re:Dumber and dumber (4, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about 10 months ago | (#45089343)

And obvious response, but not quite right. Arguably, if you lack the skills to park, you shouldn't be driving in the first place. In different words, self-parking is fine when it goes with self-driving cars, but it isn't fine when it goes with drivers that are expected to be able to drive in complex and tight situations.

Re:Dumber and dumber (5, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | about 10 months ago | (#45089425)

While I agree that more driver skill is generally desirable it's a question of balance -- there are all sorts of potentially useful driving skills that we don't even teach let alone require for the typical driver, instead relying on vehicle, roadway, and traffic engineering to provide the desired outcomes. We try pretty hard to design public roads to not require complex or tight maneuvering specifically because many drivers lack those skills (and more generally because it improves safety even among drivers who have those skills, as accidents *do* happen even among highly skilled drivers).

I also object to the idea that there's an externally-relevant distinction between a driver using technology in place of manual skill. We only really care about the effective skill of the combined vehicle-driver system; I couldn't care less if a bus doesn't crush me because the driver has super-human skills or because the computer stopped on behalf of a sub-par driver -- in both cases I avoided potential injury. If you want recognition for your driving skills enter a race; the rest of us only care that your vehicle doesn't do something harmful.

Re:Dumber and dumber (1)

m.alessandrini (1587467) | about 10 months ago | (#45089701)

That's true, but maybe in dangerous things like cars I would prefer people have good skills in every aspects of the machine, so they know how it will behave in every moment. And these skills are usualy proportional to the accumulated driving hours, and so to the general driving skills.

Re:Dumber and dumber (2)

toshikodo (2976757) | about 10 months ago | (#45089759)

The big pain is when you have to go back to old tech. My own car has cruise control, but on a recent trip to the USA I ended up renting what was probably the only vehicle in the whole state of Nevada that didn't have this. I then spent the next 2 weeks driving over 2000 miles along straight, empty roads. Constantly having to check the speedo was tiresome.

Re:Dumber and dumber (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45089479)

Arguably, if you lack the skills to park, you shouldn't be driving in the first place

That utopia hasn't worked out too well. They figured out how to get licenses anyway. The best we can do now is sell these to the idiots so they don't bang *our* cars up in car parks.

(Seriously, has anybody ever failed to get a license given enough attempts? Did they ever tell anybody, "Sorry, driving isn't for you..."?)

Re:Dumber and dumber (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088999)

Yeah, for almost a million years mankind has had to learn how to park their cars. Now without this, we'll devolve into macaques.

Re:Dumber and dumber (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 10 months ago | (#45089017)

Not quite, more like a few hundred thousand years. Before then, modern homo-sapiens didn't exist.

Re:Dumber and dumber (1)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about 10 months ago | (#45089065)

More like a few decades. Before then, modern homo-sapiens didn't have easy access to cars.

Assinine (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 10 months ago | (#45089271)

Well, previously, you could slap the donkey on her ass and she would go and park herself in the pasture.

Re:Assinine (2)

shikaisi (1816846) | about 10 months ago | (#45089367)

Well, previously, you could slap the donkey on her ass ...

tautology

Re:Assinine (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 10 months ago | (#45089651)

According to my (1897) edition of Websters, ass has two meanings: donkey and stupid person. Maybe he meant you slap the donkey on her stupid person?

Re:Dumber and dumber (2)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 10 months ago | (#45089049)

I would assume the same was said when our society developed the internal combustion engine and relegated horses out to pasture.

Re:Dumber and dumber (5, Funny)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 10 months ago | (#45089305)

I agree, and dont get me started on computers. Smart folk post our slashdot comments by encoding an HTTP response directly onto a ethernet cable with a steady hand, some copper wire, and a pair of AA batteries in series. Honestly, the shortcuts kids take these days with their "operating systems" and "networking stacks".

Re:Dumber and dumber (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#45089419)

Aren't we just encouraging people to become less skilled and overall less intelligent when we remove the necessity to actually learn skills like driving?

Ever since lathes were invented, craftsmen have been hopelessly lame at carving proper cylinders by hand. Our civilization is surely going downhill!

Re:Dumber and dumber (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45089493)

Aren't we just encouraging people to become less skilled and overall less intelligent when we remove the necessity to actually learn skills like driving?

That cat's already out of the bag.

Might as well use all available technology to stop them destroying our cars/property.

Right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088933)

What douchebag feature!! LOL!
For the ones next to them

Re: Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088955)

True, it is a pointless technology, if you can drive 1000miles why cant you park in small tight spaces, thought they taught that in driving school.

Re: Right (3, Interesting)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#45089037)

if you can drive 1000miles why cant you park in small tight spaces

If you can get a computer to do it more safely and more efficiently, why wouldn't you? And I'm talking about parking and driving.

Except... (0)

xlsior (524145) | about 10 months ago | (#45088945)

(i.e., you don't have to squeeze your way out of your vehicle while trying not to bang the next car's door)

That brilliant plan has two massive shortcomings:
1) You still need to squeeze back into the car when you're ready to leave (assuming there is no "unpark" feature)
2) What are the odds that the driver of the car parked NEXT to your in your overly narrow space will ding your passenger side door trying to get into HIS car?

Re:Except... (2)

tkuCheck (2944677) | about 10 months ago | (#45088965)

1) You still need to squeeze back into the car when you're ready to leave (assuming there is no "unpark" feature)
2) What are the odds that the driver of the car parked NEXT to your in your overly narrow space will ding your passenger side door trying to get into HIS car?

I am sure Ford engineers haven't thought about this. They couldn't have come up with ideas like (1.) the car getting out of the parking spot the same way it came in (with a press of a button on the user's smartphone), or (2.) wirelessly communicating with the nearby parked cars to see if they support this parking feature, and only squeeze into the tight spot if they reply YES.
</sarcasm>

Re:Except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089041)

wirelessly communicating with the nearby parked cars to see if they support this parking feature, and only squeeze into the tight spot if they reply YES.

Because, as we all know, these exact cars will stay there until *we* decide to leave and will never be replaced by other cars.

Re:Except... (2)

tkuCheck (2944677) | about 10 months ago | (#45089067)

Because, as we all know, these exact cars will stay there until *we* decide to leave and will never be replaced by other cars.

And your point is? If the other car doesn't support the auto parking feature, then the driver probably would not park in that tight spot, because they wouldn't be able to get out of their car...?

Re:Except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089239)

The other driver might have parked there first.

Re:Except... (1)

tkuCheck (2944677) | about 10 months ago | (#45089287)

Then we get back to my point number 2. where the auto-parking car will first ask the surrounding cars if they support the feature or not, and would only park in a very tight spot if they reply yes. It hurts me to write this because it's so bloody obvious.

Re:Except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089369)

Because, as we all know, these exact cars will stay there until *we* decide to leave and will never be replaced by other cars.

And your point is? If the other car doesn't support the auto parking feature, then the driver probably would not park in that tight spot, because they wouldn't be able to get out of their car...?

Your spot is tight, theirs doesn't neccesarily have to be. You auto park between two auto parking cars with barely a centimeter on both sides. Then the auto parking car to the left of your tight spot leaves and is replaced by a usual car. There is plenty of space to its left, so that driver has no problem getting out. In this way your check for whether the surrounding cars have a feature is pointless. Kind of reminds me of checking for enough disk space before you write to a file -- equally pointless.

Re:Except... (1)

tkuCheck (2944677) | about 10 months ago | (#45089405)

Your spot is tight, theirs doesn't neccesarily have to be. You auto park between two auto parking cars with barely a centimeter on both sides. Then the auto parking car to the left of your tight spot leaves and is replaced by a usual car. There is plenty of space to its left, so that driver has no problem getting out. In this way your check for whether the surrounding cars have a feature is pointless. Kind of reminds me of checking for enough disk space before you write to a file -- equally pointless.

Yes, so what? You come back and press a button on your phone "Un-park" and your can will come out of the tight spot. What is your point?

Re:Except... (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 10 months ago | (#45089257)

I am sure Ford engineers haven't thought about this. They couldn't have come up with ideas like (1.) the car getting out of the parking spot the same way it came in (with a press of a button on the user's smartphone), or (2.) wirelessly communicating with the nearby parked cars to see if they support this parking feature, and only squeeze into the tight spot if they reply YES.

It always amazes me on Slashdot what negative attitude some posters have. They declare immediately that some idea is useless or impossible to implement, where a person with a more positive attitude to life would think about how they can make something useful and how to implement it.

Re:Except... (0)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 10 months ago | (#45089531)

> It always amazes me on Slashdot what negative attitude some posters have.

On one hand, those who do, do; those who don't... rant on forums.
On the other hand, for all the products and ideas out there, if you always say "meh" you are statistically more right than if you always said "wow".
On the other other hand, even successful products suck. The ipod still sucks (no plain storage of music as files) the iphone and androids still suck (powerful as 15yr old computers, do 10% of what 15yr old pc can do and 300% of what PC cannot do and you don't want them to do either, namely locating you and eavesdropping on you all the time).
On the other other other hand, Ranting is justified only if you try to do something about it too.

Re:Except... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089769)

Ford has released info saying their cars will park into a spot you normally couldn't fit. Ford hasn't released info about how the other guy is supposed to get out. It's valid to call Ford out on this.

Re:Except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089637)

1) You still need to squeeze back into the car when you're ready to leave (assuming there is no "unpark" feature)

2) What are the odds that the driver of the car parked NEXT to your in your overly narrow space will ding your passenger side door trying to get into HIS car?

I am sure Ford engineers haven't thought about this. They couldn't have come up with ideas like (1.) the car getting out of the parking spot the same way it came in (with a press of a button on the user's smartphone), or

Agreed. It would be utterly idiotic of them if they DIDN'T think of supporting an unpark feature in the same way.

(2.) wirelessly communicating with the nearby parked cars to see if they support this parking feature, and only squeeze into the tight spot if they reply YES.

OK, I have to disagree with this one. Do you really think they would include such a restriction in the system? It would make the feature utterly useless until such parking systems are nearly universal (and all brand have a common way of communicating with each other). And besides, how do you know that the use in the next car will actually use that feature even if it is supported? Maybe they don't have a smartphone, left it at home, forgot to charge it, let someone else borrow the car, or just plain don't care to use the auto-parking feature.

Re:Except... (3, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 10 months ago | (#45089001)

(i.e., you don't have to squeeze your way out of your vehicle while trying not to bang the next car's door)

That brilliant plan has two massive shortcomings:
1) You still need to squeeze back into the car when you're ready to leave (assuming there is no "unpark" feature)
2) What are the odds that the driver of the car parked NEXT to your in your overly narrow space will ding your passenger side door trying to get into HIS car?

I'm more worreid that the technology does not work as advertised and will end up crashing into my parked non-autonomous car because it didn't detect it and through the space was empty (If you believe the advertising, I have a bridge to sell you... It comes with several cars). Seeing as I almost always reverse park, a bump is enough to kick start the dash cam. A driverless car should make for some interesting footage.

However who's responsible for a self driving car? Do I (or more accurately, my insurer) sue the owner (who was not in control of the vehicle at the time) or the car company (who has no doubt waived responsibility for this with a ream of paperwork when they sold it).

Beyond this, does the vehicle have the capacity to deal with arsehole parkers. People who are across multiple bays or cut in and steal parking spaces. I can see the first law suit now when Andy Arsehole cuts off an autonomous car to steal the parking bay and gets T-boned by it. However, knowing Ford the system is probably designed to be an arsehole parker.

Re:Except... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45089509)

However who's responsible for a self driving car? Do I (or more accurately, my insurer) sue the owner (who was not in control of the vehicle at the time) or the car company (who has no doubt waived responsibility for this with a ream of paperwork when they sold it).
 

I'm sure that lawyers everywhere are salivating at the thought of self-driving cars but I fail to see why we should ban them for that reason. Road safety can't possibly go downwards simply because we took humans out of the equation.

Re:Except... (4, Informative)

homb (82455) | about 10 months ago | (#45089047)

(i.e., you don't have to squeeze your way out of your vehicle while trying not to bang the next car's door)

That brilliant plan has two massive shortcomings:

1) You still need to squeeze back into the car when you're ready to leave (assuming there is no "unpark" feature)

2) What are the odds that the driver of the car parked NEXT to your in your overly narrow space will ding your passenger side door trying to get into HIS car?

Well if anyone RTFAs (and RTFVs) then it's clear that there is indeed an "unpark" feature. That is pretty obviously necessary.
Second, for #2 it's the chicken or egg: As more cars get the parking assists, this'll happen less and less. Also, in many cases you can get into your car from the passenger side and then switch to the driver's seat if it's that bad.

Re:Except... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 10 months ago | (#45089715)

Second, for #2 it's the chicken or egg: As more cars get the parking assists, this'll happen less and less. Also, in many cases you can get into your car from the passenger side and then switch to the driver's seat if it's that bad.

As more and more cars get parking assists it'll happen more and more that it's tightly parked on both sides of your car boxing you in. On the other hand, if the parking assists make an effort to park in the middle of every parking spot where possible you might end up with less squeezed places to begin with.

Re:Except... (1)

gsslay (807818) | about 10 months ago | (#45089767)

But this has always been a limitation to parking, particularly parallel parking. It doesn't matter how brilliant you are at getting into a space, you still have to account for how useless the drivers of the cars next to you may be. You may be able to skilfully squeeze in and out without scratching anyone's paintwork, but that's no comfort when they don't.

And there's nothing more annoying than coming back to your car and finding some a*hole has parked so close to you that it's nearly impossible (or totally impossible) for you to get out. I can just see early users of this system being those a*holes.

So I won't be making any use of this technology until it is uniformly available on all cars.

Re:Except... (0)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 10 months ago | (#45089095)

I guess the wheels will be left pointed in the direction required to get out, the way they got in so you just need ot start up and drive off. Its not like the computer is squeezing you into a spot its impossible to get out of,just that the spot you get is one the computer has calculated you can fit into, not one that you look at and think "hmm, won't risk it"

Besides, is this new tech? Skoda had the magic parking for a few years now. I guess that they've just stuck it on the Ford brand and are kicking off marketing.

Re:Except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089261)

What are the odds that the driver of the car parked NEXT to your in your overly narrow space will ding your passenger side door trying to get into HIS car?

I drive a diesel truck that is not exactly small or "compact" - not on the Ford F250 scale, but still. It does have power steering and nice, large side mirrors, both of which help to make millimeter-distance manoeuvring much easier than in some smaller cars I have driven. In 14 years of workhorse life it has accumulated it's fair share of scratches, dings, bangs and rust patches on the bodywork. Whenever I find a parking space that nobody has taken because the adjacent spot is taken by a car whose owner obviously can't park (close to or even over the line), it is a great source of personal glee to park as close as possible to that car without actually outdoing the other driver's positioning. Bonus points if the open parking space is to the driver's side of the other car.

I saw a photo of a hand written note on a windshield yesterday reading: "you park like s**t, please don't reproduce" with a condom attached.

Re:Except... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45089499)

That brilliant plan has two massive shortcomings:

1) You still need to squeeze back into the car when you're ready to leave (assuming there is no "unpark" feature)

You know how I know you didn't read the article...?

Vehicle next door. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088947)

What happens if you use the system to park ridiculously close to the adjacent vehicle because you don't have to worry about squeezing yourself out?

The driver or passenger of that vehicle probably doesn't have the same luxury and so their door most likely hits your car when you're not around...

Re:Vehicle next door. (0, Troll)

Cenan (1892902) | about 10 months ago | (#45088963)

Well, if I'm the driver in the adjacent car I'd make very sure that your brand new Ford has a shiny new scratch on its side. I'll take my keys out of I have to.

Re:Vehicle next door. (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 10 months ago | (#45089269)

Well, if I'm the driver in the adjacent car I'd make very sure that your brand new Ford has a shiny new scratch on its side. I'll take my keys out of I have to.

In other words, you are a criminal.

Re:Vehicle next door. (1)

tkuCheck (2944677) | about 10 months ago | (#45088975)

I'd think the car would try to wirelessly communicate with the nearby cars to see if they support a similar parking feature and only park in a tight spot if they reply YES.

Re:Vehicle next door. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089207)

Headline in 10 years: Ford responsible for dramatic increase in obesity!

Re:Vehicle next door. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089475)

That's the headline from 95 years ago.

Re:Vehicle next door. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 10 months ago | (#45089307)

Maybe that driver could have parked more squarely within his spot-- the solution to this problem 90% of the time.

Re:Vehicle next door. (1)

profplump (309017) | about 10 months ago | (#45089443)

So long as all of the drivers doors are on the same side that's not really a problem -- this system still lets you reduce the amount of slack space between parked cars by 50% because you only need room for doors to open on one side rather than both. In the case where both cars support auto-parking you can further reduce the amount of space required, but that's just icing on the cake.

Same as all other cars? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088979)

So it works exactly like the autoparking on Toyotas, Volvos, Mercedes and probably many other cars with the only distinction that you don't need your foot on the brake? That seems to be a policy choice not a technological leap...

Re:Same as all other cars? (1)

CurryCamel (2265886) | about 10 months ago | (#45089023)

There is a second, much more important distinction. But granted, that is not a technological one either: Toyota, Volvo, Mercedes vs. Ford. Spot the difference yet?

Re:Same as all other cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089199)

There is a second, much more important distinction. But granted, that is not a technological one either: Toyota, Volvo, Mercedes vs. Ford. Spot the difference yet?

The latter one is a four letter word starting with F.

Re:Same as all other cars? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 10 months ago | (#45089029)

But now it's wireless, so the attack surface just got a whole lot larger.

Re:Same as all other cars? (3, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45089513)

So it works exactly like the autoparking on Toyotas, Volvos, Mercedes and probably many other cars with the only distinction that you don't need your foot on the brake?

Nope. Those can only parallel-park.

(Clue: Try reading the article before posting...it works wonders)

Not really new (3, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 10 months ago | (#45089005)

I was in the passenger seat of a high-end BMW the other day that did exactly that: the driver drove slowly along the row of parked cars until the car beeped, then he let go of the steering wheel, reversed and let the car park itself. Quite amazing really...

Re:Not really new (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#45089059)

What's new is that the driver doesn't need to be in the car with his foot on the accelerator. I always assumed the only reason this hadn't been done already was that legally a human has to be in control of the vehicle, but perhaps with the looming prospect of fully autonomous vehicles some regulations have been relaxed.

Re:Not really new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089693)

I suppose the controlling with the smartphone (james bond style) replaces the pushing of the accelerator (/brakes). This still leaves the driver responsible, not the car. Legally nothing is changed this way, just that the driver is in a much better position to manouvre the car into a thight space. Standing behind the car to guide it is a much better position than a mirror/camera can do it.

The only problem i can think of is that when this goes into production, smartphones are 2 generations newer than this demostration. It would be a real bummer is you need a iPhone 5 to control your car if a iPhone 8 is available on the market.

Re:Not really new (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45089547)

I was in the passenger seat of a high-end BMW the other day that did exactly that: the driver drove slowly along the row of parked cars until the car beeped, then he let go of the steering wheel, reversed and let the car park itself. Quite amazing really...

Over here we get that in a Ford Focus, etc.

Fuly assisted parking is nothing new (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089013)

It is an option you can buy in most new mainstream small family cars in Europe. Ford is one of the suppliers, but Kia/Hyundai also has it.
Not sure if the old-tech vendors like Mercedes, BMW etc has received it yet.

Use in driving tests? (2)

wjh31 (1372867) | about 10 months ago | (#45089015)

I dont know about other countries, but in the UK maneuvers such as reverse and parallel parking can be part of the test, i wonder what the stance is if you have a car capable of doing it for you in the test? Maybe not too common now, but in the future... For that matter how about self driving cars in general, at what point do you stop needing a license in order to 'operate' it one operation becomes merely telling it where to go.

Re:Use in driving tests? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45089077)

I wonder what the stance is if you have a car capable of doing it for you in the test? Maybe not too common now, but in the future..

You have this now, Even thirty years ago when I took my test, when most of us had to hone clutch control for the slow manoeuvres like the three point turn and reversing round the corner , a friend of mine took hist test in a Land Rover and just engaged low ratio. Now my car has hill-start assist, turns the wipers on when it rains, the lights on when it gets dark - many will parallel park - all things that could make the difference between a pass and a fail. Oh and an emergency stop in the wet required more judgement before ABS.

Re:Use in driving tests? (1)

Smauler (915644) | about 10 months ago | (#45089525)

Oh and an emergency stop in the wet required more judgement before ABS.

My class 1 license test (for everyone abroad, that's the biggest trucks you can drive on UK roads) I screwed up my emergency stop... I forgot to drop the clutch. Stalled the truck, stopped. He gave me a minor for it, and I passed.

Also... most of the trailers I use have ABS. A little while ago, driving up the A1, a van in front of me dropped a couple of wheelbarrows on the carriageway. I stopped quickly, needless to say, and thought it was a relatively controlled stop... then looked in my mirrors - white smoke everywhere. ABS is nice.

It's also better than people... if it wasn't there wouldn't be regulations about it in motorsport.

Re:Use in driving tests? (3, Interesting)

aiadot (3055455) | about 10 months ago | (#45089165)

I'm not sure how it works on other countries, but here in Japan there are two types of licenses for "normal" vehicles. One for auto transmission and the other for manual transmission. If you have only an AT license you can only drive AT cars. If you have a MT license you can drive both.

Similarly, in the future, I believe there will be multiple types of licenses based on the level of automation you want your car to have. If you have a license for fully automatic cars, you may only drive those. If your license semi-automatic, self-parking only, you may drive your car but the parking must be automatic. If you have a normal license, you can do whatever you want. So basically learning these "old-chool" techniques will grant the right to manually drive cars (or drive old cars), if necessary. If you don't care about driving, than you may get an easier test, but if you need to do a maneuver you either ask someone else or upgrade your license.

How to enforce this system? I suspect as cars become more intelligent, coupled with our increasing world wide surveillance state, future license cards will also have ID chips and biometrics so that the car recognizes who can or cannot drive.

Re:Use in driving tests? (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 10 months ago | (#45089389)

Actually not just in Japan. You definitely need different licenses to drive a truck and a motorcycle. I see self-parking to fully autonomous vehicles being treated as totally different categories of vehicles.

You don't need fancy biometrics to enforce the system. Right now our driving license system is mostly enforced by the honor system and the medium threat of getting pulled over by a police officer. Even now you can theoretically drive a truck without a license, just don't do something that makes you stand out like swerving between lanes or ramming a fire hydrant..

Re:Use in driving tests? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089429)

If your license semi-automatic

We need to ban these semi-automatic military style "assault cars".

Re:Use in driving tests? (1)

jiadran (1198763) | about 10 months ago | (#45089615)

It's similar in Switzerland. If you pass your driving test with an automatic car, you still get the same license, but with a mention that you are only allowed to drive automatic (similar to the mention that one is only allowed to drive with glasses).

As for enforcing this system, wouldn't it be the more fancy cars (with lots of automation) that could actually enforce this, while the old cars (where you would actually need a better license) would not? You could still use biometrics, etc., to determine in a fancy car whether you're allowed to turn off the enhancements.

Re:Use in driving tests? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#45089779)

Well you can get an automatic transmission only license already, so I think in the future it isn't hard to imagine people getting "self parking only" licenses.

2008 called (3, Informative)

jmke (776334) | about 10 months ago | (#45089031)

Audi has this already for quite a few years ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAeel-JmZVg [youtube.com]

Re:2008 called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089093)

Not the same thing. That stuff still has the driver control gas/brake. This is fully autonomous no-driver-in-the-car parking.

Re:2008 called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089747)

Not even remotely similar. Audi is assisted, this Ford tech is driverless. Plus the Ford tech even finds the spot (thats the scariest part...)

So you can expect to come back.. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45089043)

This is ideal for both parking in tight spaces (i.e., you don't have to squeeze your way out of your vehicle while trying not to bang the next car's door)

So you can expect to come back to the car park and find your car boxed in by one of these parked each side six inches from your car. I've had this done to me manually occasionally (one parking forward and one reverse so both drivers' doors face away) and it's very annoying.

Re:So you can expect to come back.. (1)

tkuCheck (2944677) | about 10 months ago | (#45089075)

So you can expect to come back to the car park and find your car boxed in by one of these parked each side six inches from your car.

Have you thought that the car would try to wirelessly communicate with the nearby cars to see if they support a similar parking feature and only park in a tight spot if they reply YES?

Re:So you can expect to come back.. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45089135)

So you can expect to come back to the car park and find your car boxed in by one of these parked each side six inches from your car.

Have you thought that the car would try to wirelessly communicate with the nearby cars to see if they support a similar parking feature and only park in a tight spot if they reply YES?

TFA certainly doesn't mention this - is Ford including it?

Re:So you can expect to come back.. (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45089569)

So you can expect to come back to the car park and find your car boxed in by one of these parked each side six inches from your car.

If I come back and see you've done that to me then your door's getting banged up.

So much for this technology saving you from dents and scratches...

Re:So you can expect to come back.. (1)

Smauler (915644) | about 10 months ago | (#45089577)

I've had this happen to me manually too - if the guy on your passenger side backs in, you can't get into the car at all. It doesn't help my car is a 2 door... one of the big disadvantages of 2 door cars is that their doors are a lot longer, so you need more space to get out.

I have in the past a couple of times leant in, got the handbrake off, and pushed my car out of a tight spot.

A smartphone app to control this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089051)

How long until this is hacked? I prefer my car not to be controllable by phone.

Without the driver inside? (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | about 10 months ago | (#45089063)

Don't know about your area but around here it is illegal to leave a running vehicle unoccupied.

Re:Without the driver inside? (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 10 months ago | (#45089529)

Wouldn't that make the already-common remote ignition feature illegal?

I know that this is a pretty wild concept, but maybe, just maybe, it would be possible to change such laws if this sort of feature becomes common.

Re:Without the driver inside? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 10 months ago | (#45089777)

Wouldn't that make the already-common remote ignition feature illegal?

Yes, which is why it's not already-common in those countries where it is illegal (like the UK AFAIK).

I know that this is a pretty wild concept, but maybe, just maybe, it would be possible to change such laws if this sort of feature becomes common.

I think you might have that part backwards.

Bad parking spot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089087)

Let me get this straight: I want my car to park itself because the spot is too small for me to open the door from, right?

What happens when the *other* driver wants to get into his car? If the spot was too tight for me, you can bet it'll be too tight for him and I'm either locking him out of his car or giving him a perfectly good excuse to scratch the crap out of mine.

Laboratory conditions.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089115)

I would like to see how well the sensors work in winter season here in Finland when your car is covered in snow, ice and thick layer of dirt 4-5 months of the year...

Re:Laboratory conditions.... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45089137)

I would like to see how well the sensors work in winter season here in Finland when your car is covered in snow, ice and thick layer of dirt 4-5 months of the year...

As a matter of interest how well do the existing "parking sensors" work?

Re:Laboratory conditions.... (1)

anubi (640541) | about 10 months ago | (#45089227)

Anyone hip on the sensor technology? Microwave? Ultrasonic? Capacitive?

Parking in tight spaces ? (1)

Foske (144771) | about 10 months ago | (#45089181)

This is ideal for both parking in tight spaces (i.e., you don't have to squeeze your way out of your vehicle while trying not to bang the next car's door)

True, except that the driver of the other car still might have to do exactly that (or hit other cars from the front or rear) because some asshole with FAP-Aid parked his car too close to the others.

Re:Parking in tight spaces ? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 10 months ago | (#45089321)

True, except that the driver of the other car still might have to do exactly that (or hit other cars from the front or rear) because some asshole with FAP-Aid parked his car too close to the others.

I know one parking garage where you find a series of three parking spaces between two walls. If two cars can park their cars very closely to the walls, it's a lot easier for the one in the middle. I'll just repeat: It's amazing how Slashdotters can find only the negative in anything.

Godwin Law and car analogy in one (1)

abies (607076) | about 10 months ago | (#45089185)

Seems that competitors already developed similar technology, which can stop WW2 as an extra...

http://vimeo.com/72718945 [vimeo.com]

Re:Godwin Law and car analogy in one (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 10 months ago | (#45089311)

I don't think Ford was interested in stopping WW2: he was one of Hitler's major foreign supporters.

welcome to 2006 (3, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | about 10 months ago | (#45089217)

http://gizmodo.com/196551/lexus-self-parking-car-video-and-review [gizmodo.com]

Lexus did this first in 2006. its entirely plausible Ford just licensed their technology as they did in the past with Toyotas Hybrid Synergy Drive
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_Synergy_Drive#Ford [wikipedia.org]

Re:welcome to 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089455)

Do you read the links you send? The second one states that Ford developed their own version, but cross-licensed patents, presumably because Toyota had patented first.

Re:welcome to 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089667)

The Lexus doesn't find a spot, nor is it driverless, you still kick it off inside the car. Read TFS.

Another thing to automate. (1)

Felicita Braxton (2868247) | about 10 months ago | (#45089251)

And I thought we, as a race, couldn't get any lazier.

Re:Another thing to automate. (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 10 months ago | (#45089329)

Bah, my grandfather's donkey parked itself and if that was good enough for my gradfather, then it is good enough for me...

Police Use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089281)

How long until the police can use it to pull over/stop any auto-park enabled car with the use of backdoor keys or the like?

Then how long until those keys are released into the public?

captcha: hostage

make money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089337)

Want to help your parents financial staying at home....?
as Jeremy said I didn't even know that some people able to make $4719 in 1 month on the internet. find more information--------> WWW.JOBS47.O

yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089375)

the fact is that cagers suck a big one...

Unfortunate acronyms (2)

smeg (73312) | about 10 months ago | (#45089421)

Heh, "Ford FAP-Aid". That'll be popular...

FAP AID (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089449)

Aptly named Fully Assisted Parking Aid aka 'FAP-Aid' to facilitate driver fapping while the car parks itself. For those who truly appreciate trolley-pushing parking lot milfs.

Good for women! (-1, Troll)

Alejux (2800513) | about 10 months ago | (#45089629)

Not that they can't park cars great! ;)
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