My hands aren’t touching the steering wheel. The car is parking itself. It’s an unsettling experience, but I’m trying to give technology a chance. Even when the 2015 Ford Edge successfully maneuvers itself booty-first into a perpendicular parking spot, all you can do is grip your seat bolsters and think about insurance deductibles.
But what happens when the Edge isn’t so successful? Well, then you have to wrest control from the machine, and park your own damn self. Ford’s high-tech driver-assist features have a lot to offer in toto, but when they don’t deliver, you might as well be driving a vintage Ford Bronco.
Dig it: If your brain is hard-wired to believe man is master of all machines, and robotics require laws, and you’ll fight to the bloody end when Skynet rains hellfire, then you won’t warmly embrace the computer-controlled driver-assist features from Ford and its competitors. Shoot, I was taught two hands on the wheel. But this?
Low-level discomfort washes into something more alarming when Ford’s automatic parking assist feature puts the Edge on a collision course with a trash bin, motorcycle or immovable metal pylon. Last week, the tech press breathlessly celebrated the future of driverless cars, but at the very same time I was exploring the embryonic present of driverless technology, and it wasn’t always confidence inspiring.
But let’s start with the good news. Aside from unreliable parking-assist, the fully optioned Ford Edge includes a nice collection of driving aids that give me hope. So let’s start with the positives.
[ To see this story in full, visit http://www.pcworld.com/article/2990553/what-fords-self-parking-edge-says-about-the-future-of-autonomous-cars ]