A new project involving the State of Michigan, Ford, Bedrock and Bosch will see the launch of a real-world test site for emerging parking technology, the Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL) in Michigan. The group will also test technology relating to the efficient return of rental cars.
Scheduled to open this September, the lab will enable mobility and smart infrastructure companies, real-estate innovators and startups to test their own parking-related mobility, logistics and electric vehicle charging technologies.
“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,” commented Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan.
“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.”
In August 2020, Ford, Bedrock and Bosch showcased Bosch’s own automated valet parking technology that enabled Ford Escape vehicles to drive and park themselves at Bedrock’s Assembly garage. The DSPL will build upon this demonstration.
To accelerate the development of advanced parking technologies, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), in partnership with the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification has established a side project called the Michigan Mobility Funding Program. This will allow organizations to secure funding for the development and testing of parking-related mobility solutions inside and near to the garage facility.
At the laboratory, Enterprise will test how automated valet parking technology can apply to the quick turnaround (QTA) process where rental vehicles are returned, serviced (cleaned, fueled and charged) and then parked ready for future rentals. Initially, the smart parking lab will carry out a project in which automated valet parking and EV charging technologies are investigated to see how operational efficiencies within the QTA process can be enhanced.
“Participation in the DSPL project allows Enterprise to explore the feasibility and viability of autonomous, connected and electrified mobility innovations with recognized technology collaborators,” said Chris Grayson, regional vice president, Enterprise.
Day-to-day operations at the DSPL will be managed by the American Center for Mobility (ACM), a collaboration formed to support scientific research, testing, standards and educational programs for the automotive industry.