WATCH: Ford Ranger parking by itself – a blow to any man’s ego
It is not easy to admit that a machine can park a double cab bakkie better than a human can.
Once a man can get past his ego, parallel parking in a Ford Ranger is very easy.
I know almost all men don’t like to be told what to do. We don’t respond well to this. It’s just something caveman in our DNA.
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Try giving us travel directions and we would rather drive around all day before conceding defeat.
Tell us at a braai this is our last drink then we are going home and four hours later, in an almost alcoholic coma and in deep trouble, we go home – on our terms.
Ask a man if he can fight and he will tell you that the last nine guys he smacked are still dead. And if it wasn’t for his 15 friends holding him back, guy number 10 would still be knocked out, sleeping at Dingos in Benoni (Google it), forgetting that the last time he actually threw a punch was back in primary school.
Cavemen know best
And of course, every man can drive. I mean, if we can easily get past and lap Max Verstappen on lap 1 at Monaco, imagine how highly we rate our ability to drive up the side Mount Everest and not use 4-Low, or reverse a trailer without the wife shouting that we are turning the wrong way?
Now, imagine telling this same caveman the Ford Ranger he is driving can park itself and he has no need to show off any of his skills?
Well, it does, but I will bet almost none of you have ever tried it, right? I know I hadn’t up and till now.
Why? Pay attention. It’s because I can drink, fight and drive, like I have just explained.
But since it’s part of my job to sometimes check these things out, I decided to dig deep emotionally and give our Ford Ranger Stormtrak the chance to show me what it could do and parallel park itself.
It offers Ford’s active park assist system, which has been carried over from Ford’s other range-topping models.
In simple terms, push the active park assist button in the centre console. It’s the one with a pic of a steering and the letter P next to it, and the system uses ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers to search for parking spaces that are big enough to park in and alerts you when it has found a suitable spot.
Ford Ranger parking bliss
Then, all you must do is follow the prompts on the screen, shift to D and R when instructed and the use the brake and accelerator – and the Ranger will steer itself into the parking space.
Did it really work? Yes, it did, and I took my daughter along to witness this ground-breaking moment because I didn’t think anybody would believe me (as well as being my excuse for doing such a thing if any of my friends saw me).
Of course, the R874 100 Ford Ranger Stormtrak is still a machine. Say it wakes up one morning a bit grumpy after watching some reruns of The Terminator and decides to go all Arnold Schwarzenegger on you?
You can disengage active park assist by taking control of the steering wheel or putting the bakkie into neutral. It’s really that easy.
But I will buy you a cold beer if you don’t grab the steering wheel the first time it starts doing its own thing. If you have Ford’s active park assist, give it a try. You will be impressed.
For more information on the Ford Ranger, visit the manufacturer’s website.