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Ford 'Future of Safety Tour' feedback thread

(12 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 08-Sep-11 18:09:06

This thread is for the Mumsnetters in Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and London who have attended a "Future of Safety Tour" session in August this year.

Everyone who attended and who adds feedback here will receive a £20 Amazon voucher by way of thanks.

Please answer as many of the following questions as you can based on your experience at the event - you're welcome to add feedback from your plus one if you attended with someone else as well.

Active Park Assist:
What did you think when the car parked itself?
How would you explain Active Park Assist to a neighbour?
What was it like not touching the steering wheel?
How would this technology benefit you?

Active City Stop:
How did you react to driving at the wall with your foot off the brake?
How would you explain Active City Stop to a neighbour?
What happened next ? and how did you feel?
How would this be useful in your daily life

Traffic Sign Recognition:
Do you ever get confused by road signs?
How would you explain Traffic Sign Recognition to a neighbour?

General:
What was your favourite part of the day?
Did you know that this technology was available in Ford cars?
Would you like to have this feature on your next car?
Which was your favourite feature? Why?

Thanks
MNHQ

iklboo Thu 08-Sep-11 18:14:17

Will fill this is soon. My phone is playing up!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 08-Sep-11 19:20:10

Active Park Assist:
What did you think when the car parked itself? Bloody marvellous even if it is a bit freaky! I was impressed when te driver showed me, but even more ompressed when I tried it for myself!
How would you explain Active Park Assist to a neighbour? I'd tell them about the sensors that tll you if a space is big enough and then that you just follow the cars instructions re: gears. I'd point out that it's still up to you to accelerate and brake!!
What was it like not touching the steering wheel? Odd, very odd indeed! It was ok going backwards, but really hard to resist the tempation to grab the wheel once in 1st gear to tuck the front in.
How would this technology benefit you? Massively! I currently do a school run 3 times a day and have to park along one way streets with parking either side. This would make me much more confident and less faffy at chosing a suitable space (great with ohter impatient parents right behind me!)

Active City Stop:
How did you react to driving at the wall with your foot off the brake? It was hard to let myself do this even though it had already been demonstrated to me
How would you explain Active City Stop to a neighbour? An emergency brake function that only works at relatively slow speeds.
What happened next ? and how did you feel? Well it stopped the car in time and the wall stayed upright but because I was anticipating it, I put the clutch in whcih stopped us from stalling as we would do if this feature functioned in a real life situation.
How would this be useful in your daily life? I've never driven into anything front on, so hopefully I wouldn't need it!

Traffic Sign Recognition:
Do you ever get confused by road signs? No, but sometimes am unsure of the speed limit in unfamiliar areas
How would you explain Traffic Sign Recognition to a neighbour? There's some clever cameras in the car that spot speed limit signs and keep the limit on display to you in the car

General:
What was your favourite part of the day? Lunch was lovely,but if you mean in relation to the cars then trying out the technology for myself by driving the car was the best bit.
Did you know that this technology was available in Ford cars? Not until MN told us!
Would you like to have this feature on your next car? I'd love th active park assist
Which was your favourite feature? Why? Active park assist, because it's the feature that I would use on a daily basis.

Annieuk75 Thu 08-Sep-11 21:31:29

Active Park Assist:
What did you think when the car parked itself?
I think the only way to describe it was 'Surreal'. To sit in a car, watching the wheel turning on it?s own?like something from the movies.
How would you explain Active Park Assist to a neighbour?

Never worry about finding a 'big' parking space when going to town with the kids!
What was it like not touching the steering wheel
I kept my hands up near my face to make sure I didn't touch it, but it didn't feel right.
How would this technology benefit you?
I hate parking and drive around for ages looking for a decent space. With this technology I wouldn't have to worry and would feel more confident in going out more.

Active City Stop:
How did you react to driving at the wall with your foot off the brake?
I was a bit unsure at first, it takes a lot to put that amount of trust in a car.
How would you explain Active City Stop to a neighbour?
Can help to stop you having a bump in slow moving traffic.
What happened next - and how did you feel?
It was fun actually, you could see it was a foam wall and I had complete trust in my instructor. I sped up a little bit, but my foot did hover over the brake.
How would this be useful in your daily life?
The only accident I had was when my son was a few months old. I was in slow moving traffic heading to the Supermarket with him in the back. There were teenage boys messing about on the side of the road, throwing plants at each other. I was making sure they didn't come near my car, and in being distracted ended up banging into the car in front - something I could have avoided with this technology.

Traffic Sign Recognition:
Do you ever get confused by road signs?
Not really, sometimes it can be easy to miss a sign, particularly in areas that have been neglected and are over-grown.
How would you explain Traffic Sign Recognition to a neighbour?
The on-board computer will recognize road signs that you have passed and will display them for you.

General:
What was your favourite part of the day?
To be fair, I enjoyed the entire day and the people at Ford made my husband and I feel very welcome. If I had to choose, I would say the driving was fun!
Did you know that this technology was available in Ford cars?
Not until I was invited to this event. We had looked at purchasing a Ford and this had not been mentioned-otherwise I would now be driving a Ford
Would you like to have this feature on your next car?
Definitely, we will be changing cars in 3 years time and if will be looking at a Ford next time
Which was your favourite feature? Why?
It would have to be the Active Park Assist. It would make my life a lot easier, and would not have to worry about parking when out with the children.

urania Thu 08-Sep-11 23:15:09

Active Park Assist (APA)

Ever wanted to throw someone the keys to your car and say "Park it" or completely blow away onlookers who think "she'll never get in to that" by gliding your smart little number smoothly into a neat space? Well, its here, I've just tried it out and it felt amazing!!!

APA feels a bit strange. Normally when parking you consciously use top half of body (steering) with APA your conscious of the pedal commands. I almost had to sit on my hands, to stop me touching the steering wheel.
The innovation would definitely take the stress out of parking.

Active Park Stop (APS)
Why didn't I feel nervous about driving into a wall at 14 miles per hour?!! But, I didn't. I felt secure and confident very quickly in the Ford.
APS would be really useful for anyone who has to navigate roundabouts. When you think the person in front has moved and you take off, APS kicks in and avoids a shunt. I have loads of "polo mints" (roundabouts) on school run and find the kids ask the most pressing question just as I approach them!! So having a extra safety feature which would automatically stop the car would be a huge plus.

Traffic Sign Recognition
Car sensors pick up traffic signage and displays these on the dash board. How many times have been driving along and thought "What's the speed limit here?". Great for safety especially for school signage.

Best part of day was dreaming about owning one! Did not realise that these features were available in Fords. Would love the features in my next car. Each feature comes as an addition in basic models (prices £500-£700 each) there are packages available. Would like to see insurance companies backing the safety technology and agreeing to lower premiums.Hopefully in the future the features will be part of a standard package. Until then I can only dream..............

iklboo Fri 09-Sep-11 08:43:16

Most of the answers are on behalf of my DH as the driver, but I had a great time too.

Active Park Assist:
What did you think when the car parked itself?
As a driving instructor I was a bit freaked out, but impressed the car could park in spaces I wouldn't even have attempted.

How would you explain Active Park Assist to a neighbour?
A clever tool to help with city parking especially, that gets the car into tight parking spaces without you touching the wheel.

What was it like not touching the steering wheel?
Very strange - but I spend a lot of my day not touching the wheel when people park!

How would this technology benefit you?
Not in my day job, but certainly when 'private' driving for city centre parking on busy days.

Active City Stop:
How did you react to driving at the wall with your foot off the brake?
It was totally unnatural for me to drive at a wall! I wasn't sure how much faith I had in the Active City Stop.

How would you explain Active City Stop to a neighbour?
A tool to help prevent those low impact collisions at traffic lights & roundabouts.
What happened next ? and how did you feel?
The car came to a stop in plenty of time. It was weird that I hadn't had to do anything.

How would this be useful in your daily life
This would be very useful as a driving instructor as some pupils' reaction times & concentration is slower than others. While I wouldn't sit back & let the City Stop do all the work, it could be helpful.

Traffic Sign Recognition:
Do you ever get confused by road signs?
No - as a driving instructor I have to be aware of all the road signs & what they mean. My pupils DO get confused though, especially when speed limits change in a short space of time.

How would you explain Traffic Sign Recognition to a neighbour?
A tool to assist your safe driving by making you aware of speed limits & traffic restrictions as you drive.

General:
What was your favourite part of the day?
Lunch! Seriously, the demonstrations were very good and everyone was very knowledgable.
Did you know that this technology was available in Ford cars?
Not until the event.

Would you like to have this feature on your next car?
Which was your favourite feature? Why?
I would like Active City Stop in my next car as it would be useful to me as a driving instructor.

WhollyGhost Fri 09-Sep-11 09:13:14

Active Park Assist:

It was incredible when the car parked itself - felt like sci fi coming real, I loved it! I've explained it to neighbours and friends as the car just parking itself - no need for any steering from me. It was weird not touching the wheel, but I reckon I'd get used to it fast. The technology could benefit me by taking the hassle out of parking, so I can continue to chat to my dc, instead of telling them to be quiet as I park.

Active City Stop:
How did you react to driving at the wall with your foot off the brake?
I put my foot on the accelerator and crashed.

How would you explain Active City Stop to a neighbour?
At low speeds (slower than I was going) the car can stop itself.

What happened next ? and how did you feel?
Everyone cheered and laughed. I felt really embarassed. They rebuilt the wall and I tried again, going more slowly.

How would this be useful in your daily life
This is one feature that I don't think would be useful for me, I am sure it would for other people. I am confident at roundabouts etc.

Traffic Sign Recognition:
Do you ever get confused by road signs?
No, but it would be very reassuring to have a reminder on the dashboard.

How would you explain Traffic Sign Recognition to a neighbour?
As you drive past traffic signs, the car remembers, and keeps a note on the dashboard.

General:
What was your favourite part of the day?
the test drive
Did you know that this technology was available in Ford cars?
no, I did not, I was genuinely very impressed, not just with the features listed above, but with the car as a whole.
Would you like to have this feature on your next car?
I would like to have all the features on my next car. It is a shame that, before doing this test drive, I was completely happy with my current car, and now I am longing for a new Ford Focus.

Which was your favourite feature? Why?

Active park assist, it would take some of the hassle out of my day.

Solo Fri 09-Sep-11 17:01:38

Active Park Assist:
What did you think when the car parked itself?

I found it really disconcerting to see the steering wheel turning on it's own! I think it was worse as you obviously still have to use the pedals, but for me and probably most drivers, the actions for parking are pedals and turning the wheel simultaneously. Loved it though!

How would you explain Active Park Assist to a neighbour?

You put the car into reverse and just use the pedals as usual and it parks itself!

What was it like not touching the steering wheel?

Just weird!!! I'm a person that likes to be in control of everything so it was putting my trust into a machine. Not easy to do really.

How would this technology benefit you?

I park in a road where neighbours take up two spaces, so I inevitably have to squeeze into tiny spaces. I don't think that the APA would dream of getting into such small parking spots grin but in other situations/roads and on those days where you just cannot park (rare for me! wink) etc, I think it would take some of the stress away. Amuse the kids too!

Active City Stop:
How did you react to driving at the wall with your foot off the brake?

Oh! just weird!!! I braked the first time (control issues), but the second time I just kept driving, it was amazing! I loved it!

How would you explain Active City Stop to a neighbour?

The car won't let you crash; it brakes for you!

What happened next ? and how did you feel?

The car stopped a foot in front of the wall, it was amazing, I was very impressed.

How would this be useful in your daily life

On a couple of occasions, I've lost concentration whilst in town traffic and touched the car in front...it wouldn't happen with these cars which makes so much difference and sense to stop silly accidents occuring.

Traffic Sign Recognition:
Do you ever get confused by road signs?

No, no confusion, though occasionally you don't see the change of speed road sign.

How would you explain Traffic Sign Recognition to a neighbour?

The car reads the road sign and the change of road speed pops up on the dash board.

General:
What was your favourite part of the day?

All of it!

Did you know that this technology was available in Ford cars?

Only through Mumsnet.

Would you like to have this feature on your next car?

I would love it!

Which was your favourite feature? Why?

The parking! just because it was WEIRD and made me go hmm and grin

Thank you for the chance to try it out!

MrsKitty Fri 09-Sep-11 18:41:59

Wish I could have made it there - the features sound fab!

haggis39 Sat 10-Sep-11 15:49:08

Active Park Assist:
What did you think when the car parked itself?
I was nervous, didn't quite trust that the car would actually do it, despite the everpatient Ford man demonstration! However it did and it's quite surreal watching this steering wheel turn guided by an invisible hand. Stalled twice on exit from parking space blush so it would be useful if car guided itself out as well.
How would you explain Active Park Assist to a neighbour?
I have already raved about this to people at work who all want it in their cars (and we are not all females!) I described it as an amazing feature which enables you to reverse park as normal, but with the car controlling the steering wheel.
What was it like not touching the steering wheel?
Again, quite weird. Slightly nerve wracking!
How would this technology benefit you?
Well obviously it would allow me to brush my hair or take a sip from my coffee cup! Parking at work often requires some nifty foot/hand/eye co-ordination so it would be great to have it then.

Active City Stop:
How did you react to driving at the wall with your foot off the brake?
Felt like being on an episode of Top Gear... Again your brain is screaming at you, 'brake, brake!'
How would you explain Active City Stop to a neighbour?
Useful if you spend a lot of time in stop/start traffic, e.g. approaching roundabouts etc. If distracted at all, the car ACS kicks in and stops the car for you.
What happened next ? and how did you feel?
Well the car thankfully stopped... Small jerk and move away as normal.
How would this be useful in your daily life?
Not sure about this as I'm mostly in motorway traffic. However I would feel reassured if I was crawling up to a roundabout that this feature was in place.

Traffic Sign Recognition:
Do you ever get confused by road signs?
No, not really. I found this actually to be the least useful. A lot of cars now have GPS so that lets you know the speed limit. May be useful on rural roads?
How would you explain Traffic Sign Recognition to a neighbour?
Just as it is, a camera at the front of the car which recognises road signs and reminds you of the ones relevant at the time.

General:
What was your favourite part of the day?
A bacon roll on arrival, hot coffee, a tasty wide variety at lunch! Failing that loved getting the opportunity to drive the Ford cars and test the features. The safety expert who talked to us at the beginning of the roadshow was very informative and described many of the features before we had a chance to test them. Also have to mention the inflatable seat belt/airbag for children. This looked great!
Did you know that this technology was available in Ford cars?
No, had seen it on an American TV show and thought the APA looked amazing so was thrilled to be able to try this out.
Would you like to have this feature on your next car?
Yes! Price package seemed fairly reasonable considering what you pay for metallic paint itself!
Which was your favourite feature? Why?
Favourite feature was the APA...obviously! wink
Can i also add that the staff at event were friendly, welcoming and interested in our opinions. We also received a memory stick with our 'drive' experience and information about the cars. Thanks.

sweetandtenderhooligan Mon 19-Sep-11 00:36:20

Active Park Assist:
What did you think when the car parked itself?
It was surreal watching the steering wheel operate independently. Amazing how the car fit into such a tight space!

How would you explain Active Park Assist to a neighbour?
It's amazing, you find a space, and let the car do the rest. It will fit into a space you probably wouldn't normally consider trying to attempt parking in.

What was it like not touching the steering wheel?
Very bizzare - surreal.

How would this technology benefit you?
I'm rubbish at reverse parking so it would be a fantastic benefit. Much quicker than my normal parking too.

Active City Stop:
How did you react to driving at the wall with your foot off the brake?
I was actually a bit worried...it seemed so unnatural.

How would you explain Active City Stop to a neighbour? The car breaks itself at the point of near collision at low speeds.

What happened next ? and how did you feel?
I was impressed we didn't crash into the wall!

How would this be useful in your daily life.
I drive to work in the city and have taken a few knocks and scratches over the years. This facility could prevent that from happening in the future.

Traffic Sign Recognition:
Do you ever get confused by road signs?
Rarely.
How would you explain Traffic Sign Recognition to a neighbour?
Road signs and speed signs can be indentified by a camera fitted in the car.

General:
What was your favourite part of the day?
Loved the test drives. And meeting other MN'ers :-)

Did you know that this technology was available in Ford cars?
Not until now!

Would you like to have this feature on your next car?
I'd love the Active Park Assist.

Which was your favourite feature? Why?
Active Park Assist. I think it's incredible. I'm really bad at parking and this would be really great for someone like me.

kitchendiva Sun 02-Oct-11 11:44:12

Active Park Assist
This was amazing and I would explain it to my neighbour by telling her how fantastic it would be on the school run where there is little parking and that all she had to do was as the car told her.
It was a crazy feeling not touching the steering wheel.
It would help loads on the school runs as very limited space and impatient drivers so would be fab to just pull up n know the car would take the hard work from me and I wouldnt get flustered n drive miles to park

Active City Stop
Found it really hard not to brake while driving at the wall.
I would tell the neighbour how it would help in stop start traffic jams and roundabouts.
When the car automatically braked it made me jump even though I knew it was going to happen.
It would help in queuing traffic especially at busy times. and roundabouts all the time because sometimes you think the car in front has moved off and it hasnt.

Traffic Sign Recognition
I dont get confused by signs but with my age sometimes forget what speed I should be doing. So having it displayed on the dash is a good reminder especially with all the speed cameras going up round near me. Also I would explain it this way to my neighbour.
My favourite part of the day was getting to try the car for myself.
I had no idea about any of this technology till saw the invite and didnt realize what it was till the days event.
Would like to have city stop on car as busy driving between 3 jobs a day n sometimes get distracted. Liked all the features and think they would be of great benefit in my next car.
Thanks for great day

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