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Many modern Ford vehicles come with the driver-assist parallel parking feature, but the blue oval brand won’t offer it any longer. Recently, Ford Motor Co. reviewed what customers actually use and found that some features seem unnecessary. The driver-assist parallel parking feature is handy for drivers who park on city streets, but it often goes unused.

What does removing this parking feature mean for Ford?

Removing this feature from Ford vehicles means savings of about $60 per vehicle, which is $10 million per year. This amount would be life-changing for most people, but for a large company like Ford, this is only one small way to tighten the belts and cut some of the unnecessary spending.

2024 Ford Explorer, this Ford vehicle can be had with the driver-assist parallel parking feature at some of the top trim levels.
2024 Ford Explorer | Ford

Why is this feature a good place to start cutting spending?

Most drivers aren’t likely to notice the change. The driver-assist parallel parking feature is an option on many higher trim levels. It’s a one-time cost item for the 2024 Ford Explorer, which adds $355 to the vehicle’s cost.

Unfortunately, this feature lacks the industry consistency required to make it useful. Also, the driver has to be part of the process during parallel parking, which means it lacks some of the autonomy desired in a self-parking item. While the name, driver-assist parallel parking, tells drivers they must be part of the process, many drivers search for automated features on newer vehicles.

Will anyone notice this change?

Some drivers utilize the parking feature in their Ford vehicles, and these drivers could notice the difference. Based on system alerts and direction, the driver-assist parallel parking handles the steering while the driver shifts, accelerates, and brakes. Using this feature removes some of the anxiety surrounding parallel parking. It seems new drivers will simply have to learn this parking maneuver or drive around the block searching for perpendicular parking spaces.

This system might be too difficult to catch on

Using connected vehicle data, Ford discovered an overwhelming number of Ford vehicle owners don’t use the Active Park Assist feature. The feature requires the driver to handle most of the parallel parking processes. This might be more difficult for some drivers than simply completing the action on their own. Many drivers might never park in a parallel space along the street, another reason for this feature’s deletion and a signal to the movement into suburban America.

Another cost-saving change for Ford vehicles

In addition to the mostly unused and unnoticed driver-assist parallel parking feature, Ford will replace a vehicle part that consumers rarely see. This change could save as much as $40 per vehicle, which equates to another $10 million per year in savings.

Some Ford vehicles use a specific aero shield for fuel economy, and the Ford team found a way to deliver the same results while removing this shield. Ford is changing its vehicles but is working to do so in a way that doesn’t disrupt the driving experience.

Source: Detroit Free Press