Recent published patent application US 16/690,451 suggests that Ford developed voice activated autonomous parking. According to the patent application, the vehicle is adapted to autonomously park itself in response to a voice command. Ford explains that “in some scenarios, vehicles need to be parked into and removed from narrow parking spaces (or the parking space becomes narrow after the vehicle is parked) in which there is not enough room to open a door of the vehicle. In such scenarios, the driver cannot exit the vehicle after it parks or enter the vehicle to leave the parking space.” See ¶ [0002].

Tesla is already equipped with a “summons” feature that address Ford’s enumerated problem. Tesla, however, doesn’t operate via voice commands. While this feature may be more of a cool party trick than a necessity, I think Ford’s voice activated autonomous parking feature is one that consumers are going to enjoy more than a button activated parking assist.

Regardless of whether Ford receives any patent rights on this technology, the fact that Ford developed voice activated autonomous parking confirms that Ford is attempting to innovate in autonomous driving. With more car manufacturers working to bring autonomous driving to the masses, I think it is safe the say that autonomous driving is the future. It might even be voice activated.