Detroit Smart Parking Lab Tech Incubator Adds Four Mobility Startups

Detroit’s mobility incubator, the Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL), founded by Bedrock, Bosch, Ford Motor Co., and the state of Michigan, has added four startups to its portfolio. They will operate under the lab’s recently formed Autonomous Movement Initiative.
11
Four new mobility startups have joined the Detroit Smart Parking Lab. // Photo courtesy of DSPL

Detroit’s mobility incubator, the Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL), founded by Bedrock, Bosch, Ford Motor Co., and the state of Michigan, has added four startups to its portfolio. They will operate under the lab’s recently formed Autonomous Movement Initiative.

Utilizing more than $250,000 in grants awarded through the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform, these startups will deploy, test, and demonstrate the latest technologies related to autonomous and electric vehicle charging solutions over the next six months.

“The Detroit Smart Parking Lab fills a vital need in Detroit’s growing mobility scene,” says Kevin Mull, senior urban strategy and innovation director at Bedrock. “Our goal is to provide a pathway for early-stage entrepreneurs to reach commercialization and establish businesses in Detroit. The DSPL presents them with a real-world environment to test and deploy technologies and introduces entrepreneurs to decision-making leaders throughout the local mobility ecosystem.”

The startups aree ALBA Robot, AuTowed, ION Dynamics, and Joule Labs.

ALBA Robot will test and demonstrate how self-driving personal mobility vehicle (PMV) services can bring flexibility and independence to people with disabilities by utilizing on-demand AV transportation to get to-and-from facilities like airports, hospitals, malls, museums, and other community areas.

AuTowed is attempting to simplify and solve the challenges related to cargo transportation by utilizing an autonomous prototype to hitch, unhitch, and park a cargo trailer.

ION Dynamics wants to bring on-demand EV charging to users. ION Dynamics will demonstrate how its autonomous charging bot can reduce upfront EV charging installation costs by more than 50 percent as compared to traditional fixed charging solutions.

Joule Labs will test and prepare its autonomous charging system for commercialization, establish a permanent presence in Michigan and partner with other Detroit energy and commercial real estate companies to further deploy fully automated charging services stations throughout the state.

Launched in 2021 by Bedrock, Bosch, Ford, the state of Michigan, and operated by NextEnergy and Park Rite, the DSPL provides the nation’s first-of-its-kind real-world testing site for emerging parking, mobility and EV charging solutions at 1701 W Lafayette Blvd.

Over the past three years, the lab has hosted 20 early-stage startups, and provided nearly $1 million in state-led grant funding. These funds, combined with the lab assets and networking opportunities, have helped to lay the groundwork for an inclusive Detroit mobility ecosystem, supportive of all stages in a businesses’ growth cycle.

For more information, visit detroitsmartparkinglab.com.

Mobility startups, automotive suppliers, and technology providers can start their DSPL journey by visiting here.