Since self-parking features on some new cars may seem confusing, West Herr Automotive Group is offering some tips on its website about this option.
Some new Ford, Lincoln, Cadillac and Chevy Malibu vehicles offer optional self-parking which uses sensors and the vehicle's cameras to assist in perpendicular or parallel parking.
Although the systems are different in each brand, self parking basically works like this: Press the Parking Assist button to turn on the feature, then follow the directions on the screen. Once the car senses a parking spot, it emits a beeping sound and offers instructions to put the vehicle in reverse (in most cases). Once in reverse, the car will steer itself into the parking space. Shift into drive or reverse as the vehicle requests. It will beep again once it determines the car is parked.
West Herr's technology specialist notes that self-parking can be a little stressful at first and suggests that it helps to remember that the driver is really in control, not the car. If the driver grabs the steering wheel as the car tries to self park, the self-park system will deactivate. The driver is also in charge of the car's speed and can stop it at any time. The driver is also in charge of shifting from drive to reverse or park; the car will not do this on its own.
The posting suggests eliminating some of the stress by practicing in an area of a parking lot that isn't busy, trying out the feature at different times to get used to it.