I’ve seen videos and TV clips of cars parking themselves loads of times. The driver lets go of the wheel and it starts twisting and turning all by itself. The driver still operates the accelerator and brake pedal but the car does the hard part – getting the angle right to manouevre into the space and saving you all that arm work. It’s very cool to watch.

It’s even cooler when you are the one in the driver’s seat and you are putting all your trust in the car to park itself. I couldn’t get enough of watching the wheel twisting like crazyinto a space when test driving the Ford Kuga recently. It was AMAZING.

It was really cool for my passengers to watch too even though I don’t think my mum trusted it; she was too busy frantically looking over her shoulder to see all that cool wheel action going on. But then again, I had picked a spot beside a harbour so it’s no wonder she was a bit frantic about the fact that we could end up in the water if the sensors went a bit haywire.

I think automatic parking might be the best invention ever. Before I was brave enough to try out the Active Park Assist on the Ford, I definitely did avoid parallel parking on busy streets in town. I knew that the Kuga would fit but I didn’t feel like screwing around for ages and then the embarrassment of having to drive off if it didn’t work out. My local town is small and the Kuga was white, massive and sporting a Cork reg so it stuck out like a sore thumb and I couldn’t really go incognito.

I’m not bad at parking but I definitely want this park assist feature on my next car.

Caroline Kidd