Ford’s Smart Mobility initiative is developing mobility and parking solutions for the future. One of the program’s goals is to make convenient, stress-free parking a reality using existing vehicle technology. Some of the program’s initiatives include:

•    Parking Spotter project uses sensors to gather information and store it in a cloud database, which other drivers can access

•    Remote Repositioning experiment uses on-vehicle cameras and live streaming to allow drivers to control vehicles from miles away, like a real-life video game

•    Painless Parking project saves drivers from ticket woes by helping them pay for meters through a mobile phone

With smarter parking, drivers can spend less time hunting for spots, waste less energy, cut down on emissions and help fight traffic congestion.

Fourteen of the 25 experiments are Ford-led research projects, and 11 are part of the company’s Innovate Mobility Challenge Series. The experiments, which have been launched this year, and their locations, include:

Big Data Drive: Dearborn, Mich.

Fleet Insights: United States

Data Driven Insurance: London

Remote Repositioning: Atlanta (photo of remote control console is below on right)

City Driving On-Demand: London

Dynamic Social Shuttle: New York, London

Car Swap: Dearborn, Mich.

Ford Car-sharing: Germany

Share-Car: Bangalore, India

Rapid Recharge & Share: Dearborn, Mich.

Data Driven Healthcare: The Gambia, West Africa

Parking Spotter: Atlanta

Info Cycle: Palo Alto, Calif.

Painless Parking: London

The remote repositioning experiment in Atlanta uses Georgia Tech-owned golf carts to prove out the technology. Through the repositioning experiment, a person sitting in a remote location can access real-time video streamed over LTE wireless broadband technology to drive the carts. The outcome could be a more affordable and effective way to share or park vehicles using a remote “valet.” In the experiment, Ford is testing remote control repositioning technology using vehicle-mounted cameras and real-time streaming video.

The painless parking experiment is taking place in London, England. Ford is working to make parking easier for drivers and the city. Drivers voluntarily use plug-in devices that create live data on traffic and parking. The City Dash app tells users whether they are legally parked. If not, the app recommends the nearest open spot. It allows drivers to pay for parking meters by mobile phone, and identifies the closest available parking spots to the driver’s final destination. In the experiment, participants will exchange parking permits for a plug-in device that generates parking and traffic data.

Atlanta is the home of the parking spotter experiment. It is being conducted with Georgia Tech. The experiment leverages driver-assist sensors that most Ford vehicles already have, including sonar and radar, by putting them to work for everybody. The sensors search for open parking spaces while the driver looks for spots around the city, and share the information with a cloud database that other drivers can access. The system makes it easier for a driver to locate an open spot, reserve it and navigate to the space. It also reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. In the experiment, existing vehicle sensors detect open parking spaces to help create a data source for parking-assist apps.

Go here for more information.

The video outlines how the cloud-based Parking Spotter product, software and app can help motorists quickly and directly find an available parking space. The Parking Spotter is one of Ford’s Smart Mobility experiments.

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