Ford Motor Company, Bedrock and Bosch have launched a self-driving project for an automated valet service at a parking garage in Detroit.
The demonstration project will use Ford Escape test vehicles that can drive and park themselves inside Bedrock’s Assembly Garage using Bosch’s smart infrastructure. The companies claim this is the first U.S. infrastructure-based solution for automated valet where the vehicle will park itself inside a parking garage.
The goal of the project will give companies insights into user experience, vehicle design, parking structure design and application to expand the technology.
With automated valet parking, the same amount of space could yield about 20% more vehicles and the solution can be deployed via retrofitted solutions such as the demonstration project in Bedrock’s Assembly Garage. The system could also be used with embedded infrastructure included in the construction of new garages that enables optimized design for maximum capacity.
The system could be used in the future for more than just automated parking, but could also include services such as spots for vehicle charging or a car wash. In the demonstration project, plans for how a vehicle would move between service areas and ultimately to a parking spot were shown, concluding with a user calling for the car to leave the garage.
How it works
The Ford test vehicles operate by vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication with Bosch’s intelligent parking infrastructure. These sensors recognize and localize the vehicle to guide its parking maneuvers such as the ability to avoid pedestrians and other hazards. Additionally, the infrastructure allows a vehicle to sense if something is in the vehicle’s path and stops the vehicle immediately.
When a driver gets to the parking garage, a driver will leave the vehicle in a designated area and use a smartphone app to send the vehicle into the automated parking system. When they need to retrieve the car, drivers then use the app to request to return the vehicle to a designated pick-up area.
“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.”