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Funding will enable testing and refinement of mobility solutions at the Detroit Smart Parking Lab
LANSING, Mich. – The state of Michigan announced today grants totaling $156,000 to four mobility companies that will help to improve pedestrian safety, fine-tune last-mile mobility solutions, and enhance electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure through testing and deployments at the Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL). It’s Electric, Skyfii, Voltpost and Yoshi received a total of $156,000 in Michigan Mobility Funding Platform grants to enable this real-world testing of their mobility solutions.
“Michigan continues to invest in innovative mobility solutions that will position our state for long-term economic success and empower us to continue leading the future of accessible, sustainable transportation,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Our long legacy of automotive experience, combined with the cutting-edge work being done by today’s grant recipients at the Detroit Smart Parking Lab will ensure safer, more sustainable mobility solutions for all.”
Announced by Governor Whitmer in August 2021, the DSPL is located at the Assembly Garage in Corktown and provides an open innovation platform and real-world testing site for parking-related mobility, logistics and EV charging technologies. Sponsored and developed by Bedrock, Bosch, Ford Motor Company and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the DSPL is operated by the American Center for Mobility (ACM) and offers a collaborative, neutral platform for mobility innovators to examine ways to improve customer experiences as well as the efficient movement of vehicles and goods in defined spaces.
“The ongoing testing at the DSPL represents both an opportunity for Michigan to develop its mobility talent and offerings, as well as a broader opportunity for our state to continue to lead the global charge on developing solutions that will electrify and modernize mobility ecosystems,” said Charlie Tyson, technology activation manager with the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification. “We are committed to supporting companies, like today’s grant recipients, that share our state’s dedication and passion for building the future of mobility.”
Michigan Mobility Funding Platform Grant recipients through the DSPL are as follows:
It’s Electric ($7,000)
It’s Electric offers curbside EV charging solutions purpose-built for cities, with a goal of unlocking access to clean vehicles for the millions of drivers who park their cars on the street.
Within the DSPL, It’s Electric will test its charging prototype, a compact, durable and user-friendly Level 2 EV charging post with a detachable charging cord. While detachable charging cords are common in the EU and UK, It’s Electric is the first company in North America to fabricate a charging post with a detachable cord. The post within the DSPL will allow users to test and experience the detachable cord feature.
“We’re thrilled to have this grant from Michigan EDC to help us to deploy our first public demonstration of our unique technology at the Detroit Smart Parking Lab,” said Nathan King, cofounder and CEO of It’s Electric. “The support from the MEDC helps It’s Electric ensure an equitable transition to clean, sustainable transportation in cities across the US.”
Skyfii offers omnidata intelligence solutions built for improving venue operations and visitor experiences. With the company’s cloud-based software solutions, users can monitor a venue’s analytics – from visitor behavior and traffic data to guest WiFi usage – and adjust operations based on provided insights.
Skyfii, in partnership with LIDAR technology company, Ouster, will implement LIDAR technology at the DSPL’s campus to monitor human behaviors for security purposes.
Voltpost, a New York and San Francisco startup, decarbonizes mobility and democratizes charging access by retrofitting lampposts into smart electric vehicle charging stations. This technology provides drivers with convenient curbside charging. Voltpost reduces the cost, timing, and footprint of charger installation.
Voltpost will deploy its product within the DSPL to simulate a curbside charging environment.
“The Voltpost team is thrilled to deploy lamppost charging in the Detroit Smart Parking Lab to accelerate access to clean mobility in Michigan,” said Jeff Prosserman, founder and CEO of Voltpost.
Yoshi is a customer-centric last-mile delivery platform that is focused on car care services. The company provides gas or EV charging delivery and car care services to wherever its customers are parked and has already fully integrated with several connected car platforms, including General Motors' OnStar program. To date, Yoshi has raised more than $46 million with investments from GM Ventures, Bridgestone, and ExxonMobil.
Leveraging data from a network of Bosch cameras with built-in deep learning video analytics – a type of artificial intelligence – and in partnership with Bridgestone, Yoshi will provide an end-to-end mobility solution for electric and autonomous vehicles that will offer charging, tire check and tire change solutions. By integrating with Bosch camera interfaces, Yoshi will ultimately be able to improve wayfinding for its bundled mobility service.
Specifically, Yoshi will demonstrate a first-of-its-kind consumer EV use case in the DSPL. A consumer driving a Ford electrified vehicle will schedule a mobile EV charging and tire check service in the Yoshi app. The Yoshi technician will be notified of the consumer’s location in the Assembly Garage. Once the Yoshi service vehicle arrives, the technician will be alerted to the exact location of the vehicle with real-time data from the Bosch cameras. Once the technician has completed the EV charging service, the data on the tire depth and tread is relayed to Firestone Direct for actionable analysis. A recommendation will be provided to the consumer allowing them to dispatch the Firestone Direct service vehicle to fix the tire.
“Convenient EV charging is one of the key barriers to mainstream adoption of electric vehicles. Yoshi is improving the driver experience with mobile EV charging bundled with preventative maintenance services,” said Ed Lewis, Chief Commercial Officer at Yoshi. “Partnering with Bosch, Ford and Bridgestone at the Detroit Smart Parking Lab provides an EV innovation platform to accelerate Yoshi’s mobility services.”
The Michigan Mobility Funding Platform grants focus on catalyzing and scaling mobility solutions that improve environmental sustainability by encouraging EV adoption and charging infrastructure buildout, increasing access to affordable and reliable transportation options, and modernizing existing transportation systems. Applications for funding through the platform are accepted on a rolling basis at michiganbusiness.org/mobility-funding.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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