The State of Michigan is teaming up with Ford, Bedrock and Bosch to launch a test site for emerging parking technology – called the Detroit Smart Parking Lab.
The lab opens in September, allowing mobility and smart infrastructure pioneers and real-estate innovators and startups to test parking-related mobility, logistics and electric vehicle charging technologies.
Led by Enterprise, the collaboration also aims to test more seamless and efficient rental car returns.
“Michigan continues to lead the way in developing, testing and deploying the solutions that will drive the future of transportation, including mobility-related parking solutions,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“Innovative collaborations like the Detroit Smart Parking Lab are solving issues that will make transportation more accessible and affordable while creating an environment for technology and mobility-related companies to thrive and grow in Michigan.”
Whitmer announced the unique collaboration Thursday at the Management Briefing Seminars hosted by the Center for Automotive Research in Traverse City, Mich., joined by representatives from all the participating firms.
“Collaboration is essential for the future of mobility,” said Paul Thomas, executive vice president of Mobility Solutions, Americas for Bosch.
“With the Detroit Smart Parking Lab, we have a cross-section of collaborators – from government leaders to mobility and tech companies – that that will empower us to bring innovation to market through collaboration.”
DSPL builds upon the automated valet parking demonstration led by Ford, Bedrock and Bosch in August 2020 when they showcased Bosch automated valet parking technology that allowed Ford Escape vehicles to drive and park themselves at Bedrock’s Assembly garage.
“Parallel parking or finding spots in busy, tight structures are some of the most stressful driving situations, which is why Ford invested heavily in innovations such as our parallel parking assistance technology,” said Craig Stephens, director, Controls & Automated Systems, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.
“The Detroit Smart Parking Lab will help us collaborate with other innovators on even better solutions to make parking easier, so it doesn’t spoil an evening out.”
Michigan Mobility Funding Program
To spur other innovators exploring advanced parking technologies, the MEDC in partnership with the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification has established the Michigan Mobility Funding Program.
Organizations can secure funding to develop and test parking-inspired mobility solutions within and around the garage.
“Real estate, auto and government working hand-in-hand allow us to not only maintain Detroit’s position as the Motor City but showcase the city as the evolving tech hub of the Midwest,” said Heather Wilberger, chief information officer at Bedrock.
“Finding parking in urban environments can account for as much as 30 percent of vehicle traffic and emissions. As the city’s largest real estate developer, these collaborations and programs allow us to develop, test and implement advanced parking technologies to help reduce parking time and emissions, helping to drive sustainability benefits throughout our portfolio.”