Ford’s Parking Spotter Technology Quickly Evolving

They may be calling it an “experiment” but from their presentations at the Atlanta International Auto Show, it’s obvious that Ford is heavily investing in the innovative technology with the hope of being able to offer it in vehicles further down the road.

This experiment, conducted in partnership with Georgia Tech, leverages driver-assist sensors that most Ford vehicles already have, including sonar and radar, by putting them to work for everybody. The sensors search for open parking spaces while the driver looks for spots around the city, and share the information with a cloud database other drivers can access. The system makes it easier for a driver to locate an open spot, reserve it and navigate to the space. It also reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.


Currently the experiment is run using the 4G LTE network and can spot an open parking space in a close proximity to the vehicle driven alerting drivers if spaces are open (green), occupied (red), or possibly occupied (yellow). With colors synched to driving mannerisms much like traffic signals, the drivers are easily able to find a space, if there is one available.

What about those possibly occupied spaces? Images read as occupancy questionable may have something small in them like a motorcycle or a trailer that doesn’t take up the entire space. Anyone who has ever gotten their hopes up in a crowded lot only to find a motorcycle parked at the back of the space can appreciate the yellow function.

With the technology still in the development phase, there is no word on if/when Parking Spotter will be available in vehicles.

images courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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