Driving in New York is hard enough, even for defensive drivers, but parking presents it’s very own special set of challenges. Assuming you can even find an empty parking space.

Parking in New York City is a matter of searching, finding, then carefully squeezing your vehicle into a space which is only just big enough for it to fit. For senior drivers this can be more difficult than it was when they were younger, and a reason to avoid driving altogether. Fortunately there are efforts under way to provide help for senior drivers who have rusty parking skills.

One of the most exciting new developments for people of all ages who have trouble parking, is the parking assist function. Once the vehicle is lined up with the parallel parking space the driver presses a button and the vehicle (usually) does the rest, putting the car into the space without colliding with other adjacent vehicles.

A new amenity being tested by Ford Motor Company will take that service one step further by actually helping drivers find a parking space that is the right size for the vehicle. These new Ford vehicles have sensors at the front which accurately measure the size of the available parking spaces. The driver only has to drive past a space for the vehicle to know whether it is the right size for the vehicle you are in. The dashboard lights up, and the speakers “beep.” With another push of a button and some careful braking by the driver, the vehicle does all the work of getting your car safely parked.

There are also an assortment of blind spot sensors which help drivers be aware of vehicles which they might not be able to see, warning them if they get too close or about to have a collision. So far Ford, Lexus, Lincoln, Toyota and BMW all have vehicles with similar options that assist drivers, and it seems likely similar features will be coming soon to other vehicles.

Image: Paul Martin Eldridge / FreeDigitalPhotos.net