February 27, 2024

Image for article titled Ford may get rid of Park Assist because after 16 years no one is using it

Photo: Ford

It’s been 16 years since Ford introduced Active Park Assist, the one-button automatic parallel parking feature that saved drivers across the globe entire minutes of mild embarrassment while parking on crowded streets. Now, though, it seems that halcyon era of mitigated self-consciousness may be coming to an end.

Ford, apparently, is tired of shelling out for the feature on new models. The company is looking to cut costs, and the few uses who take advantage of Active Park assist simply don’t make the numbers work for the folks in charge. From CarBuzz:

In a conference call this week, Ford COO Kumar Galhotra said that only a few people use the parallel parking assist feature and that they can remove it to save money.

“So one example is an auto-park feature that lets the customer parallel park automatically. Very, very few people are using it, so we can remove that feature. It’s about $60 per vehicle,” Galhotra said.

Galhotra added that removing the feature could save Ford $10 million a year.

While Active Park Assist may go unused for most buyers, those that rely on its functionality would likely be understandably upset should it vanish in the dead of night. While that’s unlikely on 16-year-old cars, it’s unnervingly possible with modern connected vehicles — one OTA update later, and a feature is “no longer supported” and quietly disappears.

Ford hasn’t stated any intention to remove the feature from existing cars, and the company has so far seemingly only considered getting rid of it for future models. Still, feature removal is a concerning trend, and any new instance of it should be eyed with suspicion. As features increasingly rely on remote servers for functionality — servers with running costs to keep operating — they may start dropping like flies when usage is low.

This article originally appeared on Jalopnik.

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