The City of Detroit launched a new version of its parking app this weekend that allows users to identify where spaces are available, compare prices, and prepay for parking in off-street lots and garages. It includes parking in public and private lots and garages as well as metered, on-street spaces. Users can compare prices by the block and zoom in on specific spaces.
It also includes upcoming city events with search-by-event parking information and reservations, and can lead drivers back to their cars if they forget where they parked.
Drivers who don’t use smartphones can access the app’s features online in any web browser before they head out.
If you haven’t been focused on what’s happening in Detroit, you’re missing one of America’s best stories. Businesses are returning to the downtown, restaurants and clubs have emerged, manufacturing is vibrant again, and Detroit is well on its way to becoming one of the hottest tourist destinations in the U.S.
Just as Detroit’s original rise came out of the automobile boom of the early 1900s, this resurgence grew out of the resurrection of the U.S. auto industry. Just a few years ago, General Motors and Chrysler were fighting for their lives and closing plants. Now both companies are opening new plants and reopening shuttered facilities.
Another business is playing a big role in Detroit’s renaissance: Parking. And nobody knows that better than Keith Hutchings, director of the city’s municipal parking department. Embracing technology, watching trends, and viewing parking as part of the city’s transportation ecosystem, Hutchings and his team have revolutionized the way people use their cars–and they’re just getting started. Read our fascinating profile of Hutchings and how parking is leading the way in Detroit in the November issue of Parking & Mobility magazine.
Bill Smith is contributing editor to Parking & Mobility.
A partnership between automaker Ford and two tech companies has opened an automated, valet garage demonstration site in Detroit, in the same corridor where 40 miles of AV-only highway lanes are planned.
Bosch, Bedrock Technologies, and Ford worked together to build the site, which is available for visits by appointment. A Ford Escape outfitted with sensors and other systems finds and maneuvers itself into empty parking spaces without a driver behind the wheel. The car can sense and react to obstacles, including people, in its way. And the companies say the garage could accommodate 20 percent more cars than traditional structures, which could be outfitted with the technology to convert to automated valet. Garages built this way could also offer charging, refueling, or car wash services.
The demonstration site will be open through September. Read more about it on Ford’s website.
Waymo, Google’s self-driving vehicle arm, is looking for a built factory in Detroit to outfit cars with its autonomous technology, giving Motor City a major role in future transportation. The company received an $8 million grant from the state of Michigan to locate there, and says the factory will be the first one in the world dedicated to mass production of AVs.
Waymo is looking for a factory of up to 200,000 square feet in the Detroit area, and says it will be used to install AV technology in Chryslers and eventually Jaguars. The grant mandates it must be up and running by the end of 2021 and employ at least 100 people.