Ford will offer a rotary shifter that returns its 2017 Fusion to park when the driver exits the car so the sedan is less likely to roll away, according to Ford.
The 2017 Fusion adds software that implements the Return to Park feature so the sedan will select park if the driver forgets to turn the dial to P or accidently leaves the car while it's in another gear. The car uses an extensive network of sensors to detect conditions that indicate a driver's intent to exit the car.
The software will shift the 2017 Fusion into park when the driver turns off the vehicle or open the driver's door with the safety belt unlatched and the vehicle in a stationary position.
The feature can detect when a driver has turned the car off while moving, and will first shift into neutral until it slows below 5 mph before shifting into park automatically. The technology is designed not to operate if it detects a belted driver opening the door with the car moving to free a stuck coattail, for example, or if a driver is inching into a parking space and wishes to see the lane markers. It is designed not to operate when the car is in Stay in Neutral or Neutral Tow mode, according to Ford.