Ford unveils new Focus, packed with parking tech

The car will help you park no matter the space and comes with a new version of Sync and safety tech for young drivers

Steve Odell, executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company, speaks at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 24, 2014

Steve Odell, executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company, speaks at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 24, 2014

If you're bad at parking your car, whether it's parallel, perpendicular, backing in or backing out, Ford says its new Focus has technology that can help.

The car, which is the best-selling vehicle in Ford's line-up, will go on sale in the third quarter of this year in Europe and was unveiled on Monday at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona.

Ford's choice to reveal the car for the first time at the event, which is the world's biggest mobile telecom trade show, highlights the increasing importance of technology in automobiles. Ford said the new car is the most advanced Focus yet.

A parking assist feature is available on current Ford Focus models that goes some of the way towards automating parallel parking. Sensors mounted on the car automatically control the vehicle and guide it into a space while the driver controls the gas and brake.

The new Focus has two additional sensors at the rear that bring partially automated perpendicular parking -- that's when you drive or back into a space to end perpendicular to the curb, as typically happens in a car park.

The new sensors also enable a system that warns drivers if cars or pedestrians are about to cross behind them when the car is in reverse. There's also a new feature that partially automates the backing out from a perpendicular space.

The car will also be the first from Ford in Europe to feature Sync 2, an updated version of Ford's in-car connectivity and entertainment system. Based around an eight-inch display, Sync 2 offers voice control of the audio system, navigation and climate control.

And for parents who let new drivers, typically their children, drive their car, there's a system called MyKey. It restricts the top speed and maximum volume of the audio system when a certain key is used to start the car. If the driver and passengers are not using seat belts, the audio system won't play at all. It can also be used to block deactivation of safety technology systems.

Auto makers are increasingly developing and installing advanced technology systems into cars. While most of the tech in cars was originally centered around the entertainment system, in recent years the miniaturization and lower cost of radar units and electronic control systems has enabled a host of new safety features that work to prevent collisions, especially those that occur at speed.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Fordindustry verticalsAutomotiveMWC

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?