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Insurers are likely to cover claims related to cars using park-assist, as long as the driver has collision insurance.

Ford

Even though many new cars offer self-parking features, most Americans choose not to use them.

A survey conducted by The American Automobile Association (AAA) found nearly 80 per cent of Americans are confident in their parallel parking skills and only one in four trust the technology. This, despite the technology outperforming drivers in AAA testing.

"American drivers are hesitant to let go of the wheel," said John Neilsen, AAA's managing director of automotive engineering and repair, in a statement. "While the vast majority of Americans say they would not trust self-parking technology, AAA found these features performed well in tests and warrants consideration of new car buying."

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AAA, along with the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center, tested a 2015 Lincoln MKC, a 2015 Mercedes-Benz ML 400 4Matic, a 2015 Cadillac CTS-V Sport, a 2015 BMW i3 and a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited.

Researchers found the technology won in four key areas, including speed and accuracy over drivers manually parallel parking while using a back-up camera:

  • 81 per cent fewer curbs hit
  • Parked using 47 per cent fewer manoeuvres
  • Parked 10 per cent faster
  • Parked 37 per cent closer to the curb

"While Americans report feeling confident in their parallel parking abilities, this technology proves there is room for improvement," said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center, in a statement.

Although the technology may be better in these areas, AAA also found some systems park too close to the curb, possibly scratching the wheels.

Globe Drive's Matt Bubbers tested the self-park feature on the Ford Escape last winter and was shocked to learn how well it worked. The car pulled into a tight spot quickly and with few manoeuvres.

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