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Ford Escape test vehicle
Ford Escape test vehicle

Ford vehicles may soon park themselves inside a garage

  • Ford has launched a demonstration project for automated valet parking using its connected Escape test vehicles.

Ford has begun demonstrating first US infrastructure-based solution for highly automated valet parking where the vehicle will park itself inside a parking garage. The demonstration project has been launched in partnership with real estate firm Bedrock and tech firm Bosch.

Ford is using its connected Escape test vehicles that can drive and park themselves inside Bedrock’s Assembly Garage in Detroit. The connected 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.

(Also read: Your Ford may soon be able to help you find parking spots, cheaper fuel rates)

Partnership between Ford, Bedrock and Bosch
Partnership between Ford, Bedrock and Bosch

After pulling up to a garage, a driver can use a smartphone app to send the vehicle into an automated parking maneuver. They can also use the app to request the return of the vehicle to a designated pick-up area, expediting the parking experience and removing the responsibility of finding the vehicle upon return to the garage. “The automated valet parking project aligns with Ford's vision for the future which includes increasingly automated vehicles that are more aware of their surroundings," says Ken Washington, chief technology officer at Ford.

(Also read: Ford is testing road safety tool to help cars predict traffic, prevent accidents)

Ford says automated parking solutions will also help in utilising garage space efficiently. Using the tech, the same amount of space can accommodate up to 20 percent more vehicles. 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.


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