Ford, Bosch self parking pilot in Detroit

  • September 8, 2020
  • William Payne

Ford and Bosch are running a pilot test of an automated valet parking system in Detroit. The test aims to demonstrate that a car can maneuvre and park itself inside a multi-story carpark.

The aim is to allow drivers to get out of their cars and then use a mobile app to tell the car to park itself. The two companies envisage drivers being restricted to designated areas.

The demonstration project will last until the end of September. It uses Ford Escape test vehicles which can communicate with Bosch sensors installed in Detroit’s Bedrock Assembly Garage.

The driver assist technology combined with the sensors can find empty parking spots. It can also avoid objects and people in the vehicle’s path, and park the car without human intervention.

Drivers can also use the app to summon their cars back to the designated passenger safe zone once they want to leave the carpark.

Benefits would include increased driver safety, tighter parking, and less exposure to enclosed space pollution.

Bosch sensors can be fitted in older buildings and carparks. Existing parking structures can be converted for smart parking.

According to Ford, “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.”

Bosch has worked with Daimler on similar technology. Last year, authorities in Stuttgart approved the automated parking system, and Mercedes Benz and Bosch have launched the technology in Germany.