Ford and Bosch to test automated valet parking system in US

Ford and Bosch will test automated valet parking system in US   | Photo Credit: FORD

Ford is working on an automated valet parking system for vehicles to park by themselves, removing the need for a human person.

The system Ford is developing with Bosch and a Detroit-based real estate firm Bedrock will enable Ford Escape test vehicles to park by themselves inside Bedrock’s Assembly Garage in Detroit using Bosch’s smart infrastructure. The automaker claims this to be the first U.S. infrastructure-based solution for automated valet parking.

The demonstration of the technology will be held at a new bedrock property in Detroit’s Corktown neighbourhood. It will be running for Assembly tenant and private demonstrations through the end of September.

“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,” Ken Washington, chief technology officer at Ford Motor Company said.

How it works?

The demonstration is simple: a driver will leave the vehicle at a designated area and use a smartphone app to send the vehicle into an automated parking garage; the same app will be used to call back the vehicle when the person wants to leave.

The test vehicle operate by vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication with Bosch’s intelligent parking infrastructure. The infrastructure sensors recognise and guide the vehicle to the parking spot by avoiding pedestrians and other hazards. In case, an obstacle appears in vehicle’s path, the infrastructure’s sensors will stop the vehicle immediately.

Other than parking, the vehicle could also drive itself to areas within the garage for specific services such as vehicle charging or a car wash. The demonstration will show how a vehicle would move between service areas and ultimately to a parking spot before the user calls it back to leave the garage.

“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,” Heather Wilberger, chief information officer at Bedrock said.

Bedrock has been active in aligning with new technology in parking and mobility. The firm has installed Midwest’s first automated parking stall, which parks and retrieves vehicles in the basement of the Free Press Building using street-level load bays.

The demonstration project in Detroit is aimed at gaining insights into user experience, vehicle design, parking structure design and application to expand the technology and its application.

Automated parking solutions is another way to reduce time and make efficient use of spaces inside a parking garage. It helps to accommodate 20% more vehicles in the same amount of space.

“I look forward to the day when Detroit residents and visitors alike will see a benefit from future technologies such as automated valet parking – it will undoubtedly save space in our garages and make the entire parking experience more convenient,” Mike Duggan, mayor of the City of Detroit said.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 6:41:32 AM |

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