Ford seems to be on a joint venture spree across the world. Just after signing a joint venture with Indian automaker Mahindra, for developing a new SUV and a electric sedan, Ford has tied up with Tata and Jaguar-Land Rover. The Tata-Ford and Ford-JLR alliance is to develop collaborative parking technology and other vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies. These technologies are expected to come into play in the next decade, when driverless cars become prominent in most developed countries of the world. Ford, along with Tata and JLR, has already started running demonstrations of this technology in Milton Keynes, UK.
The idea behind collaborating parking is to reduce the time spent on hunting for parking space. The collaborative parking technology shows a heat map of the parking lot, showing the driver vacant parking slots as soon as he or she enters the parking lot. This will allow the driver to directly go to the parking spot without having to slowly circle, looking for empty parking lots. This can save precious time. Land Rover has an even more advanced technology where the driver can leave the car as soon as it enters the parking lot. The car will find a parking slot and park itself. The driver can then summon the car back to the entrance of the parking lot, one he or she is back.
Christian Ress, the supervisor of Automated Driving Europe for Ford Research and Advanced Engineering said,
We understand how much wasted time and unnecessary stress is caused by searching for parking spaces in towns and cities. With our research into ‘collaborative parking’, we see an opportunity to hand that time back to drivers, helping them enjoy happier, healthier and more efficient journeys.
In future, expect such technologies to become commonplace, so much so that even budget cars will feature them. And as driverless cars become popular, people will have more time to do other things in life rather than driving from one place to another. Driving to commute will become a thing of the past.