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Ford and Bosch team up for automated valet parking garage test

Finding a place to park in the city can be a huge pain in the rear. Once you find a garage, you have to find a parking space. If the garage is tiny, navigating the tight corners can be anxiety-inducing.

Ford and Bosch are working on finding a solution to that problem. They’re partnering with Bedrock to launch a test of a completely automated valet parking garage in the Corktown area of Detroit.

Using a fleet of special Ford Escape crossovers and a garage filled with sensors, the Escapes can find where they need to park automatically and do it without a valet having to drive the car, or move other cars out of the way.

“We strive to be at the forefront of parking and mobility initiatives in Detroit because we recognize 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, neighborhoods and residents.”

What is interesting is that this is all made possible via sensors in the garage, and only software changes to the Escapes. From Ford:

The connected Ford test vehicles operate in a highly automated fashion by vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication with Bosch’s intelligent parking infrastructure. The infrastructure sensors recognize and localize the vehicle to guide its parking maneuver, including the ability to help avoid pedestrians and other hazards. If the infrastructure senses something in the vehicle’s path, it can stop the vehicle immediately.

It’s easy to see how this technology could make a parking structure more efficient to manage and reduce operating costs. Unfortunately, for now, it’s just a demo of what is possible and what the companies can do. It’s not something that’ll be widely available.

If you are an Assembly tenant you can get a demo of setup, along with other private demonstrations through the end of September.

Written by Chad Kirchner
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