Detroit continues its lead in the autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle space with new startups coming out every month to address pedestrian safety, in-vehicle AI-based connectivity, and more. As transportation, advanced manufacturing, last-mile logistics, and autonomous technologies advance, expect to see more government investment in these areas to secure Michigan’s future dominance of these markets. Detroit’s got skin in the game and is already investing in an autonomous test highway, multiple self-driving car test facilities, drone deliveries for automakers and the airport, and mobility-focused incubators to support startups across Detroit and the state.
Ann Arbor’s 4th Mobility Summit Offers Behind the Scenes Look at How Mobility Investment Is Changing
PitchBook’s “a flurry of mobility startups going public through IPOs and SPACs through last year.” $54 billion invested despite headwinds of the pandemic. First half of 2021 even better $49.4 billion raised, over 100% over last year, putting us on track for a record year of investment for mobility. Michigan leads across the spectrum from EVs to autonomous startups (May Mobility, Refraction AI) to those disrupting services like FixMyCar and startups focused on shared mobility. $104 million so far this year invested in Michigan-based mobility startups, which has affected Michigan’s startup valuations. “What we’ve seen is overall valuations have seen an uptick in 2021, but especially this has been driven by valuation for later stage companies… up 244% compared to last year.” Angel and seed is flat year over year, and early stage are up 13%. Although Michigan-based mobility startups have a lower valuation than their Silicon Valley-based counterparts, they’re showing a similar trend.
Want a chance to check out driverless shuttles? If you’re in Ann Arbor, you can check out the new A2Go shuttle during a2tech360’s A2 Zero Green Fair tomorrow, October 1. The shuttle launches to the public October 12 and runs downtown.
Rivian, the Michigan-based EV pickup startup, has just filed for an IPO hoping for a roughly $80 billion valuation. Rivian said in a statement Friday that the company has submitted S-1 registration to the SEC. The electric truck maker is aiming for an IPO around Thanksgiving of this year, but that timing will be determined by the SEC.
Ever wonder how automakers and suppliers keep track of everything from parts standards compliance to testing data and design when creating a prototype for a new vehicle? For years, this process was handled manually. That’s one of the reasons you sometimes see recalls, explains Project Synergy co-founder Osman Korkmaz. Sometimes this manual process fails and a part that wasn’t tested to its final specs gets into a production vehicle and then fails in real-world driving.
There’s no global database of auto clubs, certainly not one that’s multilingual. Creating this is one of the ongoing projects of new startup Throdle, an Ann Arbor SPARK Best of Bootcamp winner and new player in the automotive social media scene. Founder Nadine Lee says that when people connect with a car through a test drive or a track day, they often connect with a brand for life. Connecting potential buyers or new drivers with other people who already own a special vehicle, whether that’s a BMW or an EV, helps people discover a love of car culture.
How does a meteorological tech startup working in IoT sensing end up in our mobility startups to watch series? LiveRoad Analytics is a new startup out of Ann Arbor that uses weather sensing data and road surface predictions to support improvements in connected vehicles, as well as fleet management. The technology can be used in logistics, agriculture, insurance and retail as well.
Ann Arbor last-mile logistics startup Interpl.ai announced in late 2020 that it had been accepted into the mobility division of Silicon Valley incubator Plug and Play, which has launched such companies as Paypal and Dropbox after being launched out of Ann Arbor SPARK’s incubator. The autonomous delivery robot startup has several unique features to its robots that indicate a potential success for this Midwest autonomous delivery robot company.
P3Mobility is a new mobility startup founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan that has partnered with local government in automated vehicle testing to deploy smart infrastructure that increases safety, mobility, and fuel economy of autonomous vehicles.
Have a new startup in mobility, sustainable energy, or tech that you would like to pitch? Ann Arbor SPARK has just announced a number of opportunities for startups, particularly in the mobility space, to get their name out and find funding. Here are some new announcements of opportunities for Michigan startups from Komal Doshi, Director of Mobility Programs at Ann Arbor SPARK, Ann Arbor’s premier business support organization for tech startups.