Ford’s mobile app update hints at new driverless parking features

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Ford’s remote vehicle app FordPass was updated a week ago, and Electrek reports that it contains a set of image files hinting at a possible driverless parking assistant feature.

The images have filenames beginning with “freeDriveBehind” and “freeDriveForward,” which show stencil drawings of what looks like an overhead view of a Ford F-150 Lighting with arrows pointing from the rear-back and the front-forward, respectively.

Associated images included also show the electric truck’s front view in between two Mustang Mach-Es while a checkbox displays on an iPhone, which is a fairly apt representation of a driver-free parking function.

It wouldn’t be off-brand either for Ford to call the feature FreeDrive as the filenames suggest. The company’s marketing team seems to favor word mash-ups like BlueCruise, ActiveGlide, FordPass, PowerBoost, EcoBoost, EcoSport, and more.

Remote parking promises a future with the ability to park a car in a tight garage or parking space without fear of getting stuck in the cabin. Hyundai most recently came out with such a feature using just the key fob called Smart Park (aka Smaht Park).

Hyundai, Ford, and even RV companies are following in the steps of Tesla’s quite popular Summon feature, which was a feature that could back itself out of a garage. But the perpetually beta Tesla software caused unintended collisions early on, and the later-upgraded “Smart Summon” feature that is supposed to autonomously come to you while dodging people and shopping carts in a parking lot also had troubles.

Ford is much more conservative in its approach to technology. The automaker’s next-gen advanced driver assistance system, BlueCruise, was delayed in the Mustang Mach-E. There’s no indication as to when its smart parking feature would also be released.

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