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.
Behind The Scenes Look at Massive Consolidation in the Auto Industry’s Suppliers with 123Go’s Dominic Rea
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.
Cars are gonna fly any day now, or so the story goes according to the non-transportation media. It’s a nice thought, and it will be here eventually. Everybody wants to live like the Jetsons, right? But the reality of drones, self-driving air transport, and the integration of ground and air transportation communication and highways is on the way. It just looks very different than you might expect.