Ford Motors

Parallel Parking Stress You Out? We May Have A Solution.

When purchasing a new vehicle what do you look for? Your criteria may contain everything from a price range and safety rating to a leather interior or extra cup holder. A new study released by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Ford Motors may motivate you to add another item to your vehicle checklist: parking assistant program.

A recent technology appearing in a number of new vehicles underwent a study to determine if the parking assistance has an effect on drivers’ stress levels. This proved to be a study important to many motorists as a Harris Interactive study revealed approximately 31% of drivers avoid parallel parking if at all possible.

The study observed 42 drivers’ stress levels with EKG monitors while parallel parking and backing into a tight-fitting parking spaces. As revealed by the study, these sometimes difficult parking maneuvers exerted less stress on the driver while using an automatic parking-assist system.

Drivers’ average heart rate decreased from 83 beats per minute when manually parking to 71 beats per minute while using Ford’s Active Park Assist technology. The average 12 beat per minute drop in drivers’ heart rate accompanied a 30% decrease in drivers’ perceptions of their own stress levels while using the assistant.

The parking assistant program utilizes sonar to determine if the vehicle will fit in the parking space and help to guide it into the spot. While parking the driver controls breaks and thrust as the computer turns the vehicle. For more information on the MIT study please visit the MIT Release at: MIT News.

Ford's Profits & Promising Projections

On the brink of bankruptcy only one a year ago, Ford has seen an incredible recovery and is expected to report a $1 billion profit for the first quarter tomorrow. This is the largest hint the U.S. auto industry is rebounding more quickly thank expected. The profit announcement follows suite after last week’s announcement of General Motors’ early repayment of $5.8 billion in government aid and Chrysler’s expectation to break even this year.

This time last year Ford was reporting a loss of $1.4 billion in the first quarter, including special charges of $362 million. Surprisingly enough Ford Motors ended the 2009 year with a$2.7 billion profit ending an almost $30 billion dollar loss over the past three years.

“A year ago at this time, we were fearful General Motors would fail and take the whole industry down with it… what a difference a year makes.”

– Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor, told the Free Press on Thursday.

Over the 2008 year the auto industry lost nearly 40,000 jobs. Amid a financial crisis and dwindling economy, reality sunk in for many unemployed workers and empty manufacturing plants. The recovery from where we stood just a year or two years prior is a hard lesson learned for many of the large auto companies. Ford says the auto industry crash and recovery is a cautious reminder of how quickly things can change and how quickly self-satisfaction turns into self-destruction.

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