NextEnergy, in partnership with Park Rite, to assume programming, operations and business development responsibilities for the lab
Michigan Mobility Funding Platform to provide an additional $300,000 in grants throughout 2023
Increased funding builds on momentum of 17 awarded projects during the 2022 calendar year
December 15, 2022 [DETROIT]– Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL), a partnership between Bedrock, Bosch, Ford and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), today announced an additional $300,000 in State grants under the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform. Following its initial success at downtown Detroit’s Assembly Garage, funds will support a new wave of technology startups as they test and demonstrate solutions for last-mile mobility, sustainable parking and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure enhancement.
“Over the last four years, we’ve won some truly historic investments in the auto industry, but we need to keep our foot on the gas if we are going to compete and win the next generation of automotive investments and technologies,” said Governor Whitmer. “With this new investment in Detroit’s Smart Parking Lab, we are creating good-paying jobs and building on our proud manufacturing heritage to build the future. I am committed to putting Michigan in the lead on future mobility and letting the world know that Michigan is the best place to dream, design, innovate, manufacture, and deploy the exciting technologies of the future.”
Located on the first floor of the garage at The Assembly (1702 W. Fort Street), DSPL is a first-of-its-kind mobility lab launched and designed by real estate (Bedrock), technology (Bosch), automotive (Ford) and government (State of Michigan – Michigan Economic Development Corporation) partners. The lab was specifically devised as a collaborative workspace; and provides an open environment for organizations to test and demonstrate parking-related mobility, logistics and EV charging capabilities in a variety of real-world, use-case scenarios.
“Collaboration is essential to realizing future mobility opportunities,” said Paul Thomas, executive vice president of Mobility Solutions, Americas for Bosch. “The momentum at the Detroit Smart Parking Lab with start-ups, government and established organizations in mobility as well as real estate is a shining example of what is possible when organizations innovate together.”
New for 2023, NextEnergy in partnership with Park Rite, will lead day-to-day operations and business development for the Lab, with a heavy emphasis on identifying projects and emerging technologies that can be tested in the lab for broader future deployment.
“We are pleased to provide our expertise within mobility and energy development, testing, and demonstration to accelerate solutions which lead to a sustainable future for Michigan and the world,” said Jim Saber, chief executive officer of NextEnergy.
“Our focus is supporting an innovative ecosystem that keeps Detroit at the forefront of mobility advancements,” said Park Rite chief executive officer, Kevin Bopp. “The opportunities to align technology, mobility and real estate to improve the parking and EV charging experience are endless.”
Collaboration is key
More than $300,000 in state-led grants were distributed throughout the 2022 calendar year, supporting seven startup projects at DSPL.
Most importantly, the lab provided mobility and tech participants with the opportunity to leverage a shared environment to integrate and exchange data, resulting in the advancement of overall mobility infrastructure and public ease-of-use.
“The goal of this partnership was always to provide startups and entrepreneurs with a highly accessible and equitable platform to test their technologies, encourage collaboration across a number of industries and further define products to expediate delivery to market,” said Ivy Greaner, chief operating officer at Bedrock. “As a city builder, we look forward to continuing to work with lab participants to innovate and simplify the parking process for our tenants, residents and visitors to Detroit.”
Innovation in action
Grant awardees for the 2022 calendar year demonstrated technologies focused on enhancing and simplifying EV charging capabilities. This provided sustainable parking alternatives and platforms for streamlining the overall mobility and car care experience.
As a real-use example, Enterprise Holding Inc. was the first organization to successfully complete a pilot project within the DSPL. Enterprise leveraged Bosch technologies to demonstrate the capabilities of a fully automated quick turnaround (QTA) process where rental vehicles are returned, cleaned, and fueled/charged using self-driving technology – exploring the potential for a more efficient rental car operation.
Additional DSPL deployments included:
HEVO: Utilizing the space to test and demonstrate a cost-competitive, third-party certified, manufacturable, and highly efficient wireless EV charging product suite. HEVO was one of two launch projects in the lab when it opened in 2021 and has maintained its’s deployments since that time.
It’s Electric: Awarded a grant to work with DSPL to test a compact, durable, and user-friendly Level 2 EV charging post within the lab. This is the first company in North America to fabricate a curbside charging post with a detachable cord, and this installation allowed DSPL startups and partners to test this unique feature as well as unique business models associated with the solution.
Voltpost: Awarded a grant to working with DSPL to deploy and simulate a curbside charging environment utilizing pre-existing lampposts. Voltpost democratizes charging access by retrofitting existing lampposts into smart electric vehicle charging stations, providing a charging alternative for parking lots and city side streets.
Witricity: Awarded a grant to work with DSPL to upgrade an existing EV with WiTricity technology to enable and deploy WiTricity Halo, a wireless charging station that enabled test vehicles to charge while parked, without a plug.
Arrive / Tappy Guide: Has been awarded a grant to unitize data captured from Bosch cameras and sensors to provide real-time information regarding the availability and access of parking, including handicapped parking, and EV charging spaces. The end goal is to enable a more user-friendly mobility ecosystem in Michigan.
SkyFii: In collaboration with LIDAR technology company, Ouster, SkyFii has been awarded a grant to implement LIDAR technology throughout the lab specifically to monitor human behaviors for security purposes. Using cloud-based software solutions, SkyFii allows users to monitor visitor behavior and traffic data, making them able to adjust parking operations based on real-time insight.
Yoshi: A customer-centric last-mile delivery platform that provides gas or EV charging delivery and car care services to wherever its customers are parked. Awarded a grant to work with the DSPL to demonstrate integration with smart infrastructure and connected car platforms.
Moving into the new year, DSPL will welcome a variety of new startups and project teams to the space, who will use the platform to further amplify and test their technologies. Interested parties can submit their project proposals, and apply for the grant funding through the DSPL website at this link: nextenergy.org/detroit-smart-parking-lab
New applications are reviewed, and grants awarded on a rolling basis.