The Edge of the Road Podcast
All about the Gadget on Wheels formerly known as your car.
 

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EOR 34 Driving East

Three topics from our 2,000-mile drive from Denver to Cambridge, Mass., last week in our trusty 2012 Ford Focus named Henry:

1) If you leave the car running and walk off with the smart key, can someone else drive the car away? We have actually done this a couple of times, most recently at the parking lot of Scooters coffee shop in Omaha. The word from the SYNC support center is no, someone who attempts to drive the car away without a key on their person will not be able to make it go anywhere. Good news. Note to self: turn off the car when you leave it!

2) How we used Bluetooth to listen to An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer on Audible..

3) How to load your destination for the next day's drive from your computer at the hotel to the car, via Google Maps and SYNC Services. Very cool!

Direct download: EOR_34_Drive_East.mp3
Category:Tips -- posted at: 4:47pm EDT

TKC 33 Darlene Learns Parking Assist

This past Sunday morning, which happened to be our 28th wedding anniversary, Darlene and I and the Yorkie Claire drove to a quiet residential neighbohood of Denver for a parking-assist marathon. Since I drive Henry, our 2012 Ford Focus, a lot more than Darlene does, I've had a chance over the past year to get very comfortable with the technology, which helps you ease into a tight parallel parking space with no hands on the wheel. To achieve mastery of parking assist, I recommend lots of practice on streets without traffic. You want to get so this new driving tool is second nature. You want to trust it as much as you do the steering wheel. When you turn the wheel to the right, you trust the car will move to the right. Now, when I see a good parking space, I trust the car to maneuver its way into it flawlessly.

One key point we learned: When using Parking Assist, leave your foot on the brake the entire time. You control your speed in small increments with varying pressure on the brake. Also, look for your target parking space with your eyes and spatial judgement; you don't need to depend on the car's sensors and beeps to find the space. Turn control of the car over to the technology once you know which space you plan to park in. 

Parking on the left side of the street is possible on a one-way street, if you activate the left-turn signal while approaching the space. 

What other tips have you learned about parking assist? Please leave a comment here or email me at PodChronicles AT Gmail DOT com. 

ADDENDUM:

Scott Monty of Ford tweeted me a link to this fantastic video titled "The Parisian Pinball Park." It highlights the problems of NOT using Parking Assist. Ford is going further, indeed!

Direct download: EOR_33_Parking_Assist.mp3
Category:Tips -- posted at: 2:13pm EDT