The city of Detroit, in cooperation with Ford and Bosch, is opening a new Smart Parking Lab in the Bedrock Assembly Garage in Detroit. It is a real-world environment to test future autonomous technologies that could be used to refine autonomous parking into a product. The facility, which opened in September, will also allow these companies to test whether it is possible to introduce automatic smart charging into the system.
The Detroit Smart Parking Lab is set to continue the work presented last summer when Ford and Bosch demonstrated a self-parking Ford Escape in the same building. The vehicle could drive through the parking garage without human intervention, find a parking space and reverse into parking stress-free. Hopefully in the distant future, if climate change doesn’t kill us all, this type of automated valet parking could set people free so they could spend more time doing something other than finding a place in a multi-story parking garage to fight .
In addition to Ford and Bosch, the car rental company Enterprise will also be testing how this technology can streamline its own processes. It hopes that cars that drive themselves to a valet parking station and then recharge before returning to the ready-to-use smart parking system will reduce dead time between rentals. At least in this phase, the hope is to have the cars parked by themselves as easily as possible, which are inexpensive for the company.
The Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL) is a test bed structure to trial, prove and demonstrate novel parking technologies. It is managed by American Center for Mobility. It offers a collaboration and innovation facility open to differing types of organization for real life development and testing of technologies for the mobility, parking, vehicle charging and logistics.
The essence of DSPL platform is the offer of a neutral, collaborative platform for the examination of methods to further enhance efficient movement of cars in confined spaces and improve user experience.