WATCH | Parking woes solved in Detroit as Ford cars park themselves

Ford Automated Valet. Image: Quickpic
Ford Automated Valet. Image: Quickpic

• Ford, Bedrock and Bosch, are collaborating on a project for an automated parking service. 

• The aim is to develop, test, and launch new solutions to solve urban transport challenges. 

• The demonstration project is on display in Detroit and will see a vehicle park itself inside a parking garage. 

If you find yourself inside the Bedrock Assembly garage in Detroit, United States you might catch a glimpse of Ford cars parking themselves. 

Let's be honest, the chances of that happening are slim to none but with the help of Bosch infrastructure that scenario is playing itself out.

Ford, Bedrock and Bosch are launching a demonstration project and this is the first US infrastructure-based solution for automated valet parking where the vehicle will park itself inside a parking garage.

The research will take place in the Corktown neighborhood, the site of company's new mobility innovation district.

The district will draw mobility innovators and disruptors from around the world to develop, test, and launch new solutions to solve urban transportation challenges, improve mobility access for everyone and prepare for the increasingly connected and autonomous world ahead.

Ford Motor Company, Bedrock and Bosch are launchin

Image: Quickpic

"We are continually searching for opportunities to expand our leading suite of Ford Co-Pilot360 driver-assist technologies that help people drive more confidently and we believe automated valet parking technology holds great promise,"said Ken Washington, Ford's chief technology officer.

"Our work with Bosch and Bedrock also aligns with our vision for the future, which includes increasingly automated vehicles that are more aware of their surroundings while requiring less on-board computing to help improve design, packaging and affordability."

Bedrock's Assembly Garage will become a gallery to display the demo project. It's located on the ground floor of the real estate developer's first residential redevelopment project in the Corktown neighbourhood.

It aligns with Bedrock's vision of combining ground up and historical developments with the newest technology in parking and mobility - including the current installation of the Midwest’s first automated parking stall, which parks and retrieves vehicles in the basement of the Free Press Building using street-level load bays.

"We strive to be at the forefront of parking and mobility initiatives in Detroit because we recognise the importance of interconnectivity between real estate and mobility," said Heather Wilberger, chief information officer at Bedrock.

"In addition to drastically reducing park time, we see this solution as the first step to bringing automated parking to our city, providing the ultimate convenience for our tenants, visitors, neighbourhoods and residents."

Ford Motor Company, Bedrock and Bosch are launchin

Image: Quickpic

When a driver enters the garage, he or she will leave the vehicle in a designated area and use a smartphone app to send the vehicle into an automated parking manoeuvre.

The same is done when requesting the return of the vehicle to the designated pick-up area, eradicating the  parking experience and removing the responsibility of finding the vehicle upon return to the garage.

Ford Motor Company, Bedrock and Bosch are launchin

Image: Quickpic

Automated valet parking has other advantages, like using the same amount of space to accommodate up to 20% more vehicles. The solution can be deployed via retrofitted solutions like the one in the Assembly Garage or with embedded infrastructure planned into construction of new garages that enables optimised design for maximum capacity. 

Other than parking itself, a car could make its way within the garage for specific services such as vehicle charging or a car wash.

During the demonstration project, Ford, Bedrock and Bosch will demonstrate vehicle paths showing how a vehicle would move between service areas and ultimately to a parking spot before the user calls it back to leave the garage.

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Ford Motor Company, Bedrock and Bosch are launchin

Image: Quickpic

Compiled by Sean Parker

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