Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - September 2021 - 18

Smart Cities
A Chore No More?
The Detroit Smart Parking Lab opens to develop and test emerging parking
technology in real-world settings.
by Bill Visnic
The state of Michigan, Ford, Bosch and real-estate
company Bedrock announced last week their collaboration
for the Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL), claimed
to be the first real-world test site for advanced parking
technology. The DSPL will open in September 2021 in a
Bedrock-owned parking garage in Detroit that also hosted
a valet-parking demonstration project (https://www.sae.
org/news/2020/08/ford-bosch-automated-parking-in-detroit)
initiated by Ford and Bosch in August, 2020.
The DSPL project, announced by Michigan
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, is intended to facilitate
smart-infrastructure and mobility companies and
startups in development of " parking-related mobility,
logistics and electric vehicle charging technologies, "
according to the DSPL. Michigan will encourage work
with the DSPL, said Whitmer, through Michigan
Mobility Funding Program grants administered by
its Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Office
of Future Mobility and Electrification. One of the early
awardees of a grant is vehicle-rental agency Enterprise,
which intends to use the DSPL to test automated valet
parking and electric vehicle (EV) charging to improve
vehicle quick-turnaround strategies.
Operated by proving-grounds expert
Day-to-day operations of the DSPL will be handled
by the American Center for Mobility (ACM) in
Ypsilanti, Michigan. " ACM has broad experience
operating a 500-acre smart mobility test center where
we've seen the power of testing emerging mobility
technologies in intentionally challenging environments, "
said Reuben Sarkar, president and CEO of
ACM. " The Detroit Smart Parking Lab provides a
new platform for ACM to introduce our operational
excellence and client-base to, enabling further development
of new mobility innovations. "
Bosch and Ford already have automated-parking
experience at the site with their prior demonstration
project. Paul Thomas, executive VP of Mobility
Solutions, Americas for Bosch, stressed the efficiency
and advantages of teamwork for developing automated-vehicle
technology. " Collaboration is essential for
the future of mobility, " he noted. " With the Detroit
Smart Parking Lab, we have a cross section of collaborators
- from government leaders to mobility and
tech companies - that that will empower us to bring
innovation to market through collaboration. "
The DSPL's open innovation platform will enable
a variety of independent and collaborative development
and testing paths. The DSPL said those interested
in testing at the site should visit acmwillowrun.org.
Information on innovation grants available to support
projects utilizing DSPL can be found by visiting michiganbusiness.org/mobility-funding/.
As
with the earlier Ford-Bosch valet parking project,
The Detroit Smart Parking Lab will facilitate testing
and development of advanced parking technologies.
the DSPL hopes work at the site will lead to automated
functionality and driver-assist technology to ease the
difficulty of parking in congested or unfamiliar areas.
Craig Stephens, director, Controls & Automated Systems,
Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, said, " Parallel
parking or finding spots in busy, tight structures are some
of the most stressful driving situations, which is why
Ford invested heavily in innovations such as our parallel-parking
assistance technology. The Detroit Smart
Parking Lab will help us collaborate with other innovators
on even better solutions to make parking easier. " ■
18 September 2021
AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE ENGINEERING
DSPL
https://www.sae.org/news/2020/08/ford-bosch-automated-parking-in-detroit http://www.acmwillowrun.org https://www.michiganbusiness.org/mobility-funding/

Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - September 2021

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