PDA

View Full Version : Auto Park (safety feature)



Andree
11-10-2013, 05:50 PM
I've read about the Auto Park feature in the Owner's Manual (page 217), and wondered what the point was. Thinking of the silence of the car, I figured it was a feature needed as you can't hear the car to tell if you've left it running or not.

Here's the copy-paste of the feature:

Auto Park
The Auto Park features automatically places the trans- mission into PARK if there is any indication that the driver may leave the vehicle while the transmission is in D (DRIVE), N (NEUTRAL) or R (REVERSE).

Auto Park is enabled under the following conditions:
• Key On (12 Volt ON and High Voltage OFF) or READY mode (12 Volt ON and High Voltage ON).
• Vehicle speed is below 2 mph (3 km/h)
NOTE: Auto Park is disabled above 2 mph (3 km/h) and
transmission range will be maintained.
The instrument cluster will display an Auto shift to park message and chime once when Auto Park action occurs.

Mode of operation with Key ON:
Auto Park will be engaged when the transmission is in DRIVE, NEUTRAL or REVERSE and the following con- ditions are detected:
• Seat Belt is unlatched • Brake pedal is released • Driver’s door is ajar

Mode of operation with Key OFF:
Auto Park will be engaged when the transmission is in DRIVE, NEUTRAL or REVERSE and the vehicle speed is less than 2 mph (3 km/h).

The "Key OFF" section makes sense too, as you've turned off your car, and this Auto Park should keep your car from rolling away on a slope, if you've forgotten to put the vehicle in park.

Then I read this sad news story today, from October 30th. It also has a short video, nothing graphic, just reporting. A lady got out of her car, with her kids still in the car. The car was still in drive. It went forward, and she tried to get back into the car to press on the brake...but didn't make it. She was pinned by the vehicle and the edge of the garage, and died.

Link to story: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?id=9305782

If that SUV had the Auto Park feature, she'd still be alive.

This isn't something on all the Fiats, just on the 500e. But considering the possibility that this could happen to anyone, I'd love for the feature to be included on all future models.

There is, at least for me, much more chance of being distracted while stopped and going to park. Keys and gear shift and hand brake and seat belt and grabbing for bags from the store, taking off sunglasses, etc. I'd guess it's even more distracting with kids. And if the kids are leaping out of their doors while the car is still in drive, they could get pinned by the door if the car went forward.

It's a great safety feature, one I did not appreciate enough until seeing the news story.

crazyirish
11-10-2013, 10:32 PM
Not really practical to implement across the board. How many people die each year from this exact incident? 10? 20? An estimated 10,000+ people die in the US each year because they werent wearing their seatbelts. Driver education is a much more worthwile investment IMO.

nathan_h
11-24-2013, 02:29 PM
It's not an "either or" feature. We can have both the safety feature AND driver education, though I would add: automatic seat belts.

fiatgojo
03-04-2014, 02:08 AM
Although.this.feature seems helpful, there was one time I really hated it. It was when my car needed to be pushed out of a parking structure. I probably could have pushed it out myself if the auto park feature could disable. Since there is an auto park you need someone in the driver seat. Now, I know you can manually unlock the parking lock by going under the car and using a [I think]screwdriver. But say you were alone, and were in a situation where the car is unable to drive and only go neutral, AND you needed to push it out of the way quick. It would be impossible to do alone quickly! Now this situation is pretty rare (I hope), but there should be a software update that can allow to disable this in times of emergency.

evbruno
03-04-2014, 04:21 AM
It's not an "either or" feature. We can have both the safety feature AND driver education, though I would add: automatic seat belts.

We had those years ago. Never fit as well as the manual ones in my opinion plus they where normally a 2 piece solution lap belt and separate should belt. I think the current manual three point systems work better.

msjulie33
03-04-2014, 10:39 AM
I hate that this will sound cold but I'm skeptical of putting too many features into a car which are designed to protect the driver from being responsible, attentive, competent.

Not against the feature itself, though the complication and cost and reliability I question but rather what happens to people when they think they no longer need to be attentive, to understand the power and danger of the machine they are in control of because it will take care of them all by itself.

When anti-lock brakes first came out, more crashes happened. May still be true; I know that you need to be taught how to use them (it seems). Anti-lock brakes help you steer, not designed to let you drive faster and brake less... 4 wheel drive does not change the laws of physics yet every year in New England my husband and I would count the number of 4 wheel (vs 2 wheel) vehicles off in the first snow storm of the season... it goes on.

My own observation, for what that's worth, is that as a nation we do a D- job in preparing people for the privilege of driving a motor vehicle on the road with others and so these tragedies happen and will happen. No amount of gadgets will fix this until the car takes over 100% of the driving for a segment of the population that is less prepared, unwilling, whatever, to take responsibility for their actions and use some common sense behind the wheel. Such an avoidable accident with no tech required...

Sorry this post sounds so harsh...

trevc
03-04-2014, 10:49 AM
msjulie - very well put. I agree 100%!
People don't seem to want to be responsible for their actions or to have to think these days. Just give me a button to push that does it for me. Then, when something goes wrong I can sue!

Fiat500USA
03-04-2014, 11:01 AM
I've read about the Auto Park feature in the Owner's Manual (page 217), and wondered what the point was. Thinking of the silence of the car, I figured it was a feature needed as you can't hear the car to tell if you've left it running or not.

.

Yes, that's why. There is a learning curve with an electric car because it is eerily silent. You have to get used to it and pay attention the car is on. Another driver and I took a pre-production car out and purposely tested this feature. He opened the door while going under 2 mph and indeed the trans went into park and made the most horrendous noise!

SailDesign
03-04-2014, 11:13 AM
I hate that this will sound cold but

<snip>

Sorry this post sounds so harsh...

Not in the slightest. Agree totally. If every car was totally manual, people would have to think about what they are doing. Learn to drive properly, or get TF off my road.....