123Go enterprise software development startup co-founder Dominic Rea has years of experience working to design software for the auto industry, which gives him an edge to understand software design in a logistically complex industry. Rea works with Detroit’s Automation Alley, various Tier 1 automotive suppliers, and companies in the HVAC industry on applications such as time tracking, trying to bring a collaborative “low-code” process to custom software development, and more. According to Rea, the auto industry is currently undergoing a massive consolidation in terms of suppliers, which affects how automotive software designers, mobility startups, and Tier 1 suppliers plug in to a diverse industry of many technologies. We were curious to learn more both about how 123Go designs its efficient software development process for business professionals who aren’t in IT, and if Rea could tell us more about what’s going on behind the scenes for the sake of Cronicle readers who are working to hook into the mobility tech scene.
Combining a shift to electric vehicles over the next decades and paying to offset emissions, General Motors announced yesterday a plan to finally put internal combustion engines and their climate-altering pollution in the rearview within 2 decades. Historically, GM is not known for quick corporate change or for prioritizing the planet over shareholder value, but the writing has been on the wall now for over a decade between government regulations and urgent climate change priorities shifting how consumers aim to purchase next vehicles. GM has worked for a number of years to retrofit older vehicle designs with hybrid and electric options, and recently put nearly all of its R&D budget into designing electric vehicles from the ground up, signaling a serious commitment to EVs. Currently, electric vehicle sales are in the single digits percentage-wise of vehicles sold, but rising quickly as more practical options become available and rapid charging becomes viable for the average consumer.
Recent announcements of Michigan opening a first in the nation autonomous highway corridor between Ann Arbor and Detroit have spurred discussions of how that corridor could be used beyond autonomous vehicles. Could air traffic such as drones be a part of it? In our recent interview with the MUASC’s Melinda Marion, we learned that regulations are a long a way off from allowing air traffic such as sky taxis. However, the state of Michigan and various cities surrounding Detroit Metropolitan Airport are as aware as the MUASC that this is a space that must be sorted out as the tech is developed. With that in mind, Aerotropolis is working with communities surrounding Detroit Metro Airport, such as Romulus and Taylor, to work out the permissions and uses of air space around the airport in Detroit.
Rajat Jain has been in the steel industry over a decade, building business solutions. He used to be in sales. “Customers would send faxes on my phone number,” Jain says of the antiquated way steel is still sold in the manufacturing industry. “Because that was frustrating, I spent time in San Francisco to learn the startup way of selling — and ended up creating a marketplace for steel.” Eoxs was born. Jain describes it as being like Airbnb with a 2-sided marketplace matching seller and buyer. But the target? Steel distributors. Eoxs is based in California, but its new warehouse in Detroit already has 100,000 square feet of space with up to $200 million in inventory. Doesn’t sound like a lot for the gigantic manufacturing industry? This marketplace was created in 3 weeks.