Remember when manufacturers were forced to remove options from their cars due to pandemic-led chip shortages? Ford has decided to strike tech conveniences from its products yet again, only this time, it's getting rid of options customers don't seem to use, to save itself cash. And first on the chopping block is automatic parallel parking.
Using Ford's connected vehicle data, which monitors various parameters about its cars remotely, the folks in Dearborn can see which functions are being used and how often. Doing so, Ford realized that certain features that were barely used could be cut from its vehicles, saving the company a little money per unit. As it turns out, Ford's Active Park Assist—which allows its cars to parallel park themselves—isn't something customers use much at all.
"Connected vehicle data here is very important because it helps us see what we’re providing, whether the customers are using it or not," said Ford COO Kumar Galhotra during a conference call earlier this week, according to Bloomberg. "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."
According to Galhotra, just cutting that one feature at $60 bucks a pop will save Ford $10 million per year. The Drive reached out to the company for details around the decision, as well as to find out if any other tech conveniences will be deleted for cost-saving reasons along with Active Park Assist. We'll update this story as we get more information.
This might be annoying for those customers that depend on the feature to make parallel parking easier, and concerning for other Ford owners wondering what else the automaker will ditch. It's part of a broad scheme projected to save the company $2 billion, though, so it stands to reason Active Park Assist won't be the only creature comfort to disappear from the Blue Oval's cars in the not-too-distant future.
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