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Ford, Bedrock and Bosch are exploring highly automated vehicle technology in Detroit to help make parking easier

Annett Fischer

Annett Fischer >

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  • Ford Escape research vehicles begin demonstrating first U.S. infrastructure-based solution for highly automated valet parking
  • Using a sophisticated set of infrastructure-based sensors in Bedrock‘s Assembly Garage, vehicles drive and park themselves inside an enclosed garage
  • Drivers benefit from reducing the stress of looking for a parking space; garage operators and residents benefit from automated valet parking solutions that increase parking capacity and offer services for vehicles while parked

Detroit, Michigan, USA – Many people enjoy driving… until it’s time to park. So why not leave the task to the vehicle?

Ford Motor Company, Bedrock and Bosch are launching a demonstration project with connected Ford Escape test vehicles that can drive and park themselves inside Bedrock’s Assembly Garage in Detroit using Bosch smart infrastructure. This is the first U.S. infrastructure-based solution for automated valet parking where the vehicle will park itself inside a parking garage.

The research will take place in the Corktown neighborhood, the site of Ford’s new mobility innovation district, anchored by Michigan Central Station. The district will draw mobility innovators and disruptors from around the world to develop, test, and launch new solutions to solve urban transportation challenges, improve mobility access for everyone and prepare for the increasingly connected and autonomous world ahead.

“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,” said Ken Washington, chief technology officer at Ford Motor Company. “Our work with Bosch and Bedrock also aligns with our vision for the future, which includes increasingly automated vehicles that are more aware of their surroundings while requiring less on-board computing to help improve design, packaging and affordability.”

Our work with Bosch and Bedrock also aligns with our vision for the future, which includes increasingly automated vehicles that are more aware of their surroundings while requiring less on-board computing to help improve design, packaging and affordability,

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

The demonstration project will be on display on the ground floor of Bedrock’s Assembly Garage, the real estate developer’s first residential redevelopment project in the Corktown neighborhood. The project aligns with Bedrock’s vision of combining ground up and historical developments with the newest technology in parking and mobility - including the current installation of the Midwest’s first automated parking stall, which parks and retrieves vehicles in the basement of the Free Press Building using street-level load bays.

“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.”

The automated valet parking technology will be running for Assembly tenant and private demonstrations through the end of September.

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,

said Heather Wilberger, chief information officer at Bedrock.

Connected vehicle and smart infrastructure enhance automated parking

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.

“For Bosch, automated valet parking brings together our deep cross-domain experience in mobility and building technologies to deliver a smart infrastructure solution that improves everyday life,” said Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America. “This technology enables consumers to see the benefit of highly automated technology as the vehicle handles a task such as parking in a garage.”

For Bosch, automated valet parking brings together our deep cross-domain experience in mobility and building technologies to deliver a smart infrastructure solution that improves everyday life,

said Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America.

Upon arriving into the garage, a driver will leave the vehicle in a designated area and use a smartphone app to send the vehicle into an automated parking maneuver. Drivers will also use the app to request the return of the vehicle to the designated pick-up area, expediting the parking experience and removing the responsibility of finding the vehicle upon return to the garage.

New mobility requires collaboration

The demonstration project at Assembly Garage brings together one of the world’s largest automakers, Ford, the largest property developer in the City of Detroit, Bedrock, and the world’s largest automotive supplier, Bosch, to demonstrate how organizations are working together on new mobility initiatives.

The demonstration project will enable the three companies to gain valuable insights regarding user experience, vehicle design, parking structure design and application to expand the technology and its application.

Efficient use of space and vehicle services make the case

Automated parking solutions bring value to garage owners by allowing for the more efficient use of spaces inside a parking garage. With automated valet parking, the same amount of space can accommodate up to 20 percent more vehicles. The solution can be deployed via retrofitted solutions like the one in the Assembly Garage or with embedded infrastructure planned into construction of new garages that enables optimized design for maximum capacity.

In addition to simply parking, a vehicle could also drive itself to areas within the garage for specific services such as vehicle charging or a car wash. During the demonstration project, Ford, Bedrock and Bosch will demonstrate vehicle paths showing how a vehicle would move between service areas and ultimately to a parking spot before the user calls it back to leave the garage.

Contact person for press inquiries:

Bosch – Annett Fischer,
Phone: +49 711 811-6286
Twitter: @Annett__Fischer

Ford of Europe – Monika Wagener,
Phone: +49 152 54707044
mwagener@ford.com

Bedrock – Tom Goulding
Phone: +1 313-549-9348
tomgoulding@bedrockdetroit.com

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. It generated sales of 46.8 billion euros in 2019, and thus contributed 60 percent of total sales from operations. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector pursues a vision of mobility that is safe, sustainable, and exciting, and combines the group’s expertise in the domains of personalization, automation, electrification, and connectivity. For its customers, the outcome is integrated mobility solutions. The business sector’s main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs some 72,600 associates in research and development at 126 locations across the globe, as well as roughly 30,000 software engineers.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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