Self-parking cars, like the Ford Fusion I test drove in Florida, are the way of the future. But are they the right way for real men?
We guys like to be in control. The feel of the gas pedal. Hands on the steering wheel. Showing off our parking prowess in that really tight parking spot.
Living in New York City, where parking is always at a premium, learning to park is a critical coming-of-age skill. If the cars do it for us, what are dads supposed to teach their sons (and daughters)?
On the other hand, after a long day, it’s kind of nice to think about sitting back and letting the car take control. After all, the technology in cars today already tells us where to go (in a good way, with a soothing voice via the in-dash navigation). And it tells us when someone is calling (via the Bluetooth connection to my phone) and reads our texts so we don’t have to. Not that I would, of course. It’s against the law. And sets a very poor example for my kids. Really. I never text and drive. Really.
The Rush of Self-Parking Cars
But I might choose a self-parking car. As my man Daym Drops shows in this video, self-parking can be a bit unnerving at first. The steering wheel turns on its own!
A growing list of easy and safety products are showing up on new cars. For example, the 2018 Ford Explorer will have a “Safe and Smart Package.” That will include such cool features as adaptive cruise control. I like cruise control, but hate the hassle of tapping the brake every time New York highway traffic backs up. And it backs up often. With adaptive cruise control, sensors on the car slow the speed when the car ahead gets within a certain range of your vehicle. It’s freaky at first, but sort of comforting after you get used to giving up control over the cruise.
And then there are the safety sensors that act just like the worst back seat driver: collision warning and brake support, blind spot monitoring system, cross-traffic alert, and lane keep assist. Each one beeps to let me know that I have done something wrong. If I don’t respond to the nagging, it might just take over and fix the error of my ways.
Whether we like it or not, real men are going to be giving up more and more control as the cars of the future take over more of our driving work. That’s OK with me, so long as the back seat driving stops.