Traveling Mom and Traveling Dad writers test drove the 2017 Ford Fusion and the park assist feature.

Watch TravelingMoms Attempt the Park-Assist Feature in the Ford Fusion

TravelingMom retreat attendees were afforded the opportunity to try and observe new vehicle features with Ford, an event sponsor.  I’m writing about what stood out most to me.  My thoughts, opinions and observations are my own.

 

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Goodness gracious, do I love my minivan. She’s getting up there in miles, but I have time before I need to replace her.

So I like taking my sweet time checking out all of the new features that are available these days to get an idea of what I might want later.

One of my favorite activities at the TravelingMom writer’s retreat was getting to demo the Park Assist feature on the 2017 Ford Fusion. Lots of giggles and “oh my gosh” moments on the first time out!

Traveling Mom and Traveling Dad writers test drove the 2017 Ford Fusion and the park assist feature.
Look ma, no hands! Heidi tries the park assist feature in the 2017 Ford Fusion for the first time. Photo: Audra Rogers

Tell Me About the Ford Fusion’s Park Assist Feature!

It is brand new technology and as you will see, it takes some getting used to! There are sensors all over the car that detect open parking spots and assist you with parking.

Alarms will notify you of close objects and the backup camera also guides the process.

Park assist backup camera and monitor in the 2017 Ford Fusion
Backup camera gives a step-by-step look. Photo credit: Christine Tibbets, TibbetsTravel.com

If you touch the steering wheel as it’s actively parking, it disengages to give total control back to the driver, and that proved to be the biggest hurdle to get over. It was common for us to need to try a few times for a successful park. It’s freaky!

Check out the video of my friend Heidi giving it a go, I was filming from the backseat!

The car detected a traffic cone in the parking spot on the first attempt, so it chose a different spot. She puts the car in gear and controls the accelerator, but doesn’t touch the steering wheel.

The clip at the end shows an outside view of another park. You might notice a little celebration inside the car afterwards!

My Observations about the Park Assist Feature in the Ford Fusion

  1. It is very slow going at first. We did this in a parking lot with low traffic, however I did observe a person come up behind us and get very impatient to get around us as we learned. So get the hang of it before trying it out there in the wild!
  2. It is difficult to relinquish control. Over and over again we touched the steering wheel out of habit, disengaging the park assist feature. Old habits die hard!
  3. It does not substitute you. You are still an active participant controlling the accelerator and brake, and shifting from reverse to drive. The technology is meant to assist you, not replace you. So don’t go taking a nap or making a sandwich!
  4. It will perform a parallel park. There were no marked spots in this particular parking lot for parallel parking, but the park assist feature is available for that.

We had a blast watching other TravelingMoms and TravelingDads trying out the park assist feature. Check out more videos below!

Traveling Dad Tim with Jones Family Travels tried his hand with park assist. The videos below show both outside and inside views of his maneuver. Their group is such a fun, lively bunch! Check it out.

Outside view of Tim’s park with Park Assist via Sarah from Sarah in the Suburbs

Inside view of Tim’s park with Park Assist via Sue from Field Trips with Sue

Dan from Points with a Crew and Dia The Deal Mommy needed a few tries to get used to the whole “let go of the steering wheel” thing!

Rebecca (R We There Yet Mom) parked that sucker in one fell swoop and talked with Scotty of She Buys Cars about Park Assist

Final Thoughts on Park Assist

I am grateful that by the time I need a new vehicle, the technology will be more advanced, more the norm and fully self-driving cars are getting closer! (I really look forward to that future nap and sandwich.)

My budget right now asks me to park myself, but I do look forward to serious upgrades in the future!

I’m thankful for the warm and welcoming crew at Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Resort for hosting us for this portion of the TravelingMom conference.

And of course to Ford for the opportunity to open my mind to something new and get to hang out in cool new cars for the afternoon in a beautiful place with a fun crew!

Traveling Mom and Traveling Dad writers test drove the 2017 Ford Fusion and the park assist feature.

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