Utilizing data from its extensive sensory network, the 2017 Ford Fusion's Return to Park technology is able to preempt when someone's trying to exit the vehicle. This innovative technology, which made its debut in the Fusion, gives drivers assurance that even in a moment's lapse, there's no need to worry about the vehicle accidentally rolling. Regardless of if the dial is set to park or another gear the Return to Park feature eliminates the stress that plagues even experienced drivers, setting a new standard for vehicle safety.
The all-new precautionary feature was brought about by engineers at the Blue Oval, who specifically wanted to acknowledge vehicle rollaway through smart software. The idea, which came to fruition via the Fusion, offers assistance to drivers and ultimately lowers the probability of accidents under certain conditions. Drivers in-the-know will catch on to its presence with a glimpse of the new rotary gear shift dial, which accompanies the new software.
As stated in a release by Ford, the Return to Park technology instantly shifts the car into park under three circumstances: the vehicle's turned off, the driver's door is opened with your safety belt unlatched and the vehicle stationary, and/or your safety belt is unlatched with the driver's door open and the vehicle in a stationary position.
Mark Zyskowski, Ford's global e-shift systems technical expert, stated in the same release that “When we decided to go with the new rotary shifter for the 2017 Ford Fusion, the team sat together in a room to see what additional customer benefit we could bring to the table. We thought about what we could add without getting in the way of normal day-to-day scenarios, and all agreed a feature to help confirm park is selected when exiting the vehicle seemed really worthwhile.” Learn more in the video below:
Rather than immediately halt - an arguably jarring experience - the Return to Park technology initiates with a shift into neutral, until it slows below five miles per hour. From there, it shifts into park automatically. However, it's also designed not to engage if it detects a belted driver opening the door with the car in motion - to release a piece of clothing stuck, for instance - or when the car's in Neutral Tow or Stay in Neutral mode. The new dial is equipped with three electronic modules that monitor transmission and shifter; all elements must be in alignment for the gear selection to work. This helps ensure safety and prevent accidents, something Ford has always prioritized.
Learn more about Ford's innovative new feature by speaking to our representatives at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today.