Ford to Discard Unpopular Feature for Cost Cutting

2009 Active Park Assist: A Costly Disappointment Now

Ford is currently contemplating eliminating a portion of its Active Park Assist driver-assist system, which was initially introduced more than ten years ago. The company’s motive for this decision is to cut costs due to inflation and to improve its profitability.

In a recent conference call, Ford’s Chief Operating Officer, Kumar Galhotra, revealed that the parallel parking assist feature is not widely used and suggested its removal as a cost-cutting measure. It was noted that only a handful of individuals utilized this feature.

According to Galhotra, “So one example is an auto-park feature that lets the customer parallel park automatically. Very, very few people are using it, so we can remove that feature. It’s about $60 per vehicle.” He suggests that this feature can be eliminated as it is not being utilized by a significant number of customers, resulting in a cost savings of approximately $60 for each vehicle.

Galhotra stated that eliminating this function has the potential to save Ford a significant amount of money annually, around $10 million.

Ford’s Active Park Assist suite of driver-assistance technology includes the highly beneficial parallel parking assistance feature. This system was initially launched in 2009 and was one of the first of its kind to be available for commercial use. Toyota had introduced a similar system a few years earlier, making it a pioneer in this field. The primary objective of this feature is to ease the “stress” associated with the commonly perceived “challenging” parking procedure.

Over time, a number of Ford cars have been equipped with this capability, including those at the lower end of the spectrum. Presently, nearly all newly released vehicles that come with driver-assist functions include active assistance for parallel parking.

Despite being a useful feature, customers do not utilize it frequently, according to Galhotra. This was revealed by analyzing connected vehicle information provided by customers.

The latest version of Active Park Assist, known as Version 2.0, continues to be available in Ford vehicles through the Co-Pilot360 system – an advanced autonomous driving technology classified as SAE Level 2. Some of the current models that come equipped with this feature include the F-150 Lightning and the recently unveiled refreshed Explorer, along with other Ford vehicles. However, it is possible that this may not be the case for long.

As technology continues to advance, car manufacturers are implementing increasingly advanced features in order to enhance the value of their vehicles. Some cars now possess the ability to self-park, albeit in a limited environment. However, the question arises: how much technology is truly necessary and how frequently is it utilized by the average driver? While automatic parallel parking may hold value in a world of autonomous driving, in reality, it remains faster and easier for most individuals to manually park their own cars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *