Auto journalist Ezra Dyer has thrown down the parking gauntlet on the Lincoln MKT in a battle for ultimate supremacy. Dyer fancies himself a fairly skilled parallel parker, and wanted to test his mettle against the self-park feature on the MKT. Armed with a tape measure, a video camera and a healthy distrust of all things mechanical, man squared off against crossover.

How'd it go? Dyer put up a healthy fight by managing to get the Lincoln closer to the curb than the vehicle's software could manage. Unfortunately, he was also slightly more askew in the spot than the self-park feature. The final score put our inevitable robotic overlords ahead of the human resistance once again.

We'll admit that we aren't necessarily fine with notion handing over vehicle control in any situation – parking or otherwise. We'll still take solace in the fact that the MKT can't hand brake itself into that same spot. Hit the jump to check out the video, then let us know in Comments how you feel about the proliferation of self-park technology.



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 81 Comments
      EricC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Modern aviation shows us that these types of electronic aids and automation, coupled with rigorous pilot (or in this case driver) training, greatly increases safety. I agree that there is no substitute for driver training, but I am not so naive as at think that we will ever be able to train our way to a point that all of the millions of drivers on the road will bring there A game 100% of the time. Be honest with yourself. You have never drifted out of a lane? Never entered a curve a little hot? The "human factor" will always be there. Technology can help make those human factors less dangerous when they do happen. The trick is that we have to careful to regard these technology aids as tools and not replacements for driver involvement.
        hevace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EricC
        "coupled with rigorous training," you say. The problem is that most people want these electronic bacon-savers as a replacement for any sort of training.
          Agilis
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hevace
          They said, "...coupled with rigorous pilot (or in this case driver) training." This system is not automatic. Drivers need to learn how to use which takes practice just like a pilot needs to train how to use a specific system within the cockpit. If the driver wants to use the system for max benefit, the user will need to learn the system in and out.
          ReTired
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hevace
          The word "most", for most people, should mostly be replaced by "some"...this ain't politics.
      roy
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's not a matter of being Stupid,it's a matter of having things that make life easier,alot of people know how to cook but choose to pay for dinner.Truth is the system is real coo and works great,the big got you is it's a option on Ford Escape and Focus as well lets see Toyota/Luxus pull that 1 off. The thing about Ford is when it bring something out it go's across the board and bring price down at the same time,anyone how would knock this must no have a microwave in there home,liar,liar....
      Shelby
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's no contest. You should see the scratches on my bumpers and fenders.
      James
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's easy to parallel park if you can see to do it. Many cars are designed with huge blind spots.
        Panoptic
        • 3 Years Ago
        @James
        Agreed. My work car is a 3G Honda Prelude and the thing has a crazy amount of outwards visibility. Granted, the all-wheel steering system makes it a pain to get really close to the curb...
      EricC
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't think I would ever use it, but living in an urban area and often having to wait several minutes while some suburbanite who has ventured into the city takes takes five or six tries to get into a parking spot I can't help but think that the technology has it's place.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      clquake
      • 3 Years Ago
      Has anyone here actually used the system? Seems like it would be a big help for drivers who are nervous with parallel parking. Try parking in NYC without having some jerk pull right up to your bumper while you're backing up and leaning on the horn because he's being inconvenienced for 30 seconds (if you can find a spot).
        Len_A
        • 3 Years Ago
        @clquake
        Agreed, 100%. In some cities, parallel parking is a PITA.
      Legato
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a feature is nice, helpful and appears easy to use. On normal transmissions slamming into P at 60mph would make the parking paw chatter and possibly brake, no driving internals should wear... reverse is another story. But when the button is pressed it will look at the Wheel speed sensors and determine that it is not safe to engage park. Only when the parameters are met would park engage. If its anything like mercedes it will engage park automatically if left in neutral and unmoved for a certain amount of time. These electronic safeties prevent or limit acts of idiocy,while the warnings aid drivers who are not as keen on whats going on around them, everyone has there off moments its normal for we are human. For the super mega awesome drivers that never make errors and complain when they make something to aid you in not make errors, consider it for someone else and quit hater because it questions your undoubtedly superior driving prowess (cashsixeight,hevace,mrbrian2334...) If the car does make contact its due to an ill calibrated sensor or faulty signal, the dealer will likely take the heat but will argue the driver should have been monitoring the scene.
      Stacey
      • 3 Years Ago
      Will it shout and honk its horn if someone tries pulling into the space behind it? (a la George Costanza battling for the perfect spot...)
      hevace
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've got a good idea. If you tick the option box for automatic parking, your license automatically gets revoked, because you're too much of a doofus to be trusted with the operation of a motor vehicle.
      richman99
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anyone who is STUPID enough to need a computer to parallel park their own car should not even be allowed to drive!! GROW UP PEOPLE!!
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @richman99
        They may not NEED a computer to park their car, in the same way we don't NEED GPS, or sattelite radio, or anything more than a basic transport device. But the extra stuff is well appreciated. It's like saying GPSs are for stupid people who would get lost even driving around the block and need step by step instructions how to go home a few hundred feet away. Will it make people lazier? Yes, but no more so than any other conveniece in our lives.
        founerra
        • 3 Years Ago
        @richman99
        With the HUGE blind spots and pillars, screw manual parallel parking, and if the computer fails, at least the failure rate WAY lower than a human, I want to save a couple of hundreds, so let's tech do the work.
      Hans
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you have no parking skills, you surely don't have any driving skills either! Get off the f'*ing road! I can't count how many inept drivers have hit my parked car over nearly 5 decades.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hans
        What is wrong with a system that can do the most menial and annoying part of driving for you if you so choose? There is no great amount of driving pleasure or skill to be derived from parallel parking... but seeing as we dont have 360 vision from all 4 corners of the vehicle, there will always be the inevitable guesswork, and re corrections. If shimmying a hunk of metal between two other hunks of metal seems like something of great merit, by all means do it yourself and disregard the tech. If you cant be arsed on an occasion, admire the almost impossible feat of the car doing it itself. And wouldnt it be better that those inept parkers remove their (lack of) human ability from the equation?
        etm114
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hans
        I am a very good driver - 32 years without 1 ticket or accident. All but 2 of those years consisted of driving in the suburbs, suburbs filled with lots and lots of open parking lots and expansive driveways, no street parking available or necessary. I now live in the city (downtown Chicago). Not having had to parallel park once since my first driver's license test at age 16, 32 years later I simply can't do it. Crowded, busy downtown Chicago streets are not the place to "practice". I would love to have a feature like this on my car. It would pay for itself in the savings from not having to rely on cabs or valet parking.
    • Load More Comments