Bedrock and AUTOParkit to Build Midwest’s First Fully Automated Parking Structure

June 23, 2021

  • Structure to feature 105 fully automated parking stalls in the historic Detroit Free Press Building – and promises to park and retrieve user vehicles in as little as 180 seconds

  • The project will combine modern parking technology with Art Deco Albert Kahn design

  • Parking buildout to align with Free Press Building redevelopment and is scheduled for launch in 2021


June 23, 2020 Detroit – Bedrock, a Detroit-based, full-service real estate firm, and AUTOParkit, the premier provider for fully automated parking solutions, today announced a collaboration to develop the Midwest’s first fully automated parking structure within the historic Free Press Building in downtown Detroit.

Designed by Dasher Lawless Automation, the AUTOParkit system will automatically park and retrieve vehicles within the existing basement of the Bedrock-owned Detroit Free Press Building - a compliment to the space that in 1925 boasted an advanced printing press.

“The project was specifically designed to maximize parking while preserving the historic Building’s distinct architecture,” said Kevin Bopp, Vice President of Parking and Mobility at Bedrock. “By incorporating AUTOParkit’s advanced mobility technologies with our plans for renovation, we were able to add a layer of parking that would have otherwise not been possible, while simultaneously enhancing the parking process to provide an experience previously unmatched in our region.”

The AUTOParkit system is unique as it was designed to work within the confines of the existing Detroit Free Press basement. The system features two street-level Load Bays, each with separate etrance and exit doors to make parking and leaving as seamless as possible.

The system will provide fully automated charging stations for users with electric vehicles, and utilize advanced cameras, sensors and sophisticated programming to provide a simpler and safer parking experience – with the promises to park and retrieve a vehicle in as little as 180 seconds.

“Automation is playing a bigger role in our lives every day,” said Shawn Adam, VP of Sales and Marketing  at Dasher Lawless Automation – which makes the AUTOParkit Systems. “Mobility and specifically parking are one of the latest ways automation of normal or mundane tasks can be applied. In a conventional garage a person could easily spend 10 to 15 minutes finding a parking space, then waiting for an elevator and then walking out of the structure. With the AUTOParkit system a user can drop off their car in a fraction of that time, saving time for the more enjoyable things in life.”

In addition to safety, cost and speed, the AUTOParkit System is far better for the environment as comared to traditional parking structures. Since vehicle engines are turned off before being stored, the system can reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 83 percent. Overall energy use is also drastically reduced, lowering operational overhead by up to 40 percent when compared to a standard arking garage.

“Utilizing the AUTOParkit system eliminates most of the hazards found in a typical garage. Vehicle damage, property theft, or personal injury are virtually eliminated as is the associated liability for the owner or operator of the building,” Adams continued.

How it Works:


  • A driver pulls up to the building and their vehicle is automatically detected by the AUTOParkit system. The driver is directed to an available Load Bay and when the car is close enough, the garage door automatically opens allowing the driver to enter.

  • A flat-screen monitor, sensors, and cameras help to guide the driver to pull their car onto a pallet inside the Load Bay.

  • The system then directs the driver to stop the vehicle, shut off the engine, and exit the vehicle.

  • The driver walks to a touch screen and taps their key FOB to uniquely identify themselves and validate that the vehicle’s doors are shut and is vacant of any passengers and/or pets.

  • Once cleared, the driver simply exits the Load Bay.

  • The system then proceeds to lift, rotate, and store the vehicle into the rack structure.


  • When the owner needs their car returned, they simply tap their key FOB on any number of strategically placed readers located throughout the building or use the AUTOParkit APP on their mobile phone to request their vehicle.

  • The AUTOParkit System immediately receives the owner’s request, and the car is delivered to a Load Bay in as little as 40 – 180 seconds

Christopher Alan, President, and CEO of Dasher Lawless Automation, provided a historical perspective, “When we were first conceptualizing AUTOParkit, we drew on automotive technology that had been in place for over 50 years. We didn’t reinvent the wheel, we adapted the decades-old concepts of assembly automation and applied it to parking.”

“Building AUTOParkit in Detroit is like our homecoming,” Alan continued. “Detroit is where the idea and foundation for mass assembly was born. And like the assembly line, we continue to develop the AUTOParkit System and expand its capabilities, continuously  reinventing, redefining and improving the technologies of every system we do.””

The Free Press Building is located at 321 W. Lafayette Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan, and was designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn in 1925. The 14-story, 302,000 square-foot building, previously housed the Detroit Free Press, Michigan’s largest newspaper, until the publication moved out in 1998. This newest development will feature mixed-used retail and office space, as well as 100 residential units. Residents and tenants alike will be able to utilize the AUTOParkit System, which combines modern mobility technology within esteemed Detroit architecture.

For more information on AUTOParkit, visit

Follow on Instagram: Lawless Alan / @lawless_alan Dasher Lawless Racing / @dasherlawlessracing

About AUTOParkit

AUTOParkit™ is designed, manufactured, and constructed by Dasher Lawless Automation, LLC.  These fully automated parking systems are for new and existing buildings and can potentially double-parking capacity compared to traditional ramped concrete parking structures.  AUTOParkit’s sustainable approach to fully automated parking provides up to 17 LEED points; enables faster construction due to a modular/scalable architecture; is 40% less expensive to operate since it is automated; is safer for the user and delivers a necessary, convenient alternative to an escalating global problem.

About Bedrock

Detroit-based Bedrock is a full-service real estate firm specializing in acquiring, developing, leasing, financing and managing commercial and residential buildings. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties, including new construction of ground up developments in downtown Detroit and Cleveland totaling more than 18 million square feet.

Bedrock’s real estate portfolio consists of 210 office tenants and 125 retailers and restaurants in Detroit’s technology-centric downtown, the majority of which are new to the market. Key office tenants include Coyote Logistics, IBM, Microsoft, Quicken Loans, LinkedIn, StockX, Universal McCann, UBS, Ally Bank’s national headquarters and Fifth Third Bank’s regional headquarters. Key retail tenants include H&M, Plum Market, The Lip Bar, 6 Salon, Lululemon, Shake Shack and countless others.

Bedrock is currently developing four transformational projects including the Hudson’s Site, Monroe Blocks, Book Tower renovation and One Campus Martius expansion. Bedrock is also undergoing construction of City Modern, a community development in Detroit’s Brush Park neighborhood. Partnering with Detroit-based Shinola, Bedrock developed the world’s first Shinola Hotel on Woodward Avenue, which opened in early 2019.

Bedrock is dedicated to creating jobs for Detroiters and investing in job training. Over the last year, the company has invested in both the Randolph & Breithaupt Career and Technical Centers to build a pipeline of talent for Detroit’s growing economy.

Creating unique experiences through real estate is Bedrock’s mission. To make this a reality, Bedrock and its affiliates continuously invest in significant public art installations and placemaking initiatives throughout the city.

For more information on Bedrock’s business model, visit the For More Than Profit book. For more information on Bedrock’s projects, visit or engage with us on Twitter and Facebook.

Click here to view a complete timeline of Bedrock and the Rock Family of Companies’ engagement within the Detroit community.