France has a community of startups that compete with the best in the world in autonomous and connected vehicle technology. For the past six years, the nation’s top new companies have embarked on a 2-week whirlwind tour of the Detroit / Ann Arbor and Silicon Valley area, where they feature dozens of automakers, suppliers and influencers.
The tours are part of UbiMobility, a 9-month development program combined with 2-week immersion in major automotive and tech ecosystems in the United States.
Alumni of this exclusive club include autonomous shuttle company Navya, automotive handwriting recognition expert MyScript and carpooling expert VULOG.
NAVYA offers 100% driverless and electric transport solutions for shuttle fleets. It carried 11,000 passengers over nearly 8,000 km.
MyScript is the market pioneer and leader in the field of automotive handwriting recognition with more than 10 million cars equipped with its technology.
Vulog is a market leader in car-sharing technology and has designed a turnkey solution independent of the vehicle with front, back-end and on-board equipment intended for mobility operators. It currently supplies technology to the two largest independent free-floating operators in North America.
The tour normally takes place in early June but was delayed by Covid-19.
It is now “on the road” September 8-18 as a well-choreographed virtual tour where each company executive delivers a concise 5-minute video presentation.
This year’s seven presenters were selected from a panel of highly selected finalists by jurors from Magna International, FCA Group, Ford Motor Co., Aptiv, University of Michigan, NVIDIA, Boston Consulting Group, Qualcomm, Valeo North America and Wards Intelligence.
Now in its sixth year, UbiMobility has been developed by two French economic development organizations, Business France and Bpifrance. Business France is a government agency supporting the international development of the French economy, and Bpifrance is a public investment bank that helps finance entrepreneurs.
The finalists who cater to OEMs and suppliers offer a wide variety of creative and relevant mobility technologies:
Technologies Heex https://www.heex.io offers a software solution that accelerates the development of autonomous vehicles by simplifying the life of audiovisual development teams.
Self-driving car test fleets generate huge amounts of data that engineers and data scientists struggle to access, organize and identify in the captured data. It can take weeks for the important information that data scientists need to be identified and made available. Heex’s software solution allows teams to focus on the 1% of the data that is important, which saves time, money and ultimately improves their artificial intelligence.
Heex software does this by extracting data that is reported in important situations by selected sensors; requests the writing and validation of events on an authorized blockchain; conditions small sensors and event data, sends them securely to the cloud; then forwards the data to development teams, other vehicles and authorized third parties.
iXblue https://www.ixblue.com/ With iXblue’s inertial navigation solutions, vehicles can be positioned and oriented without any external connection, regardless of their location.
Autonomous vehicles should know where they are 100% of the time, but GPS navigation systems can be overridden by tunnels, and radar and lidar can be blinded by weather and other conditions. iXblue says it has the answer: FOG (Fiber-Optic Gyroscope) technology. He is a pioneer and recognized market leader in this technology and is already developing high performance inertial navigation systems that guide satellites and submarines.
Plaster https://www.kipsum.fr/ Kipsum’s smart energy device manager can reduce electric vehicle HVAC energy consumption by 20% without sacrificing perceived comfort.
Already used in commercial buildings and street lighting, Kipsum’s product centralizes system data to generate a digital twin. Their algorithms then use AI and optimization methods to minimize energy consumption associated with comfort and deliver longer range and better performance for electrified vehicles without affecting customer satisfaction.
Epicnpoc www.epicnpoc.com is a software publisher dedicated to innovation and user experience for automotive, mobility and smart home.
The company’s IO suite is a one-stop solution for creating functional experience configurations, specifically designed to support the process of creating user experience in complex systems such as automotive, mobility, passenger transportation and goods and the smart home.
Using a framework based on a service-oriented architecture, the Epicnpoc solution enables the connection of various ecosystems, including hardware components, graphical user interfaces, mobile devices, cloud services, AI, and subsystems for create an interactive environment for end users. The software suite can describe unlimited interaction logics between components and multiple users depending on the simulated or real context.
IRider https://www.irider.ai/ Just in time to take advantage of the rise of urban cycling, IRider is a startup that develops intelligent on-board solutions for manufacturers of electric bikes, scooters and motorcycles.
Even though 2-wheeled transport offers many advantages, CEO Frédéric Delahais says it is 35 times more dangerous than 4-wheeled vehicles. He says IRider’s MELROSE Smart Driving Assistant System is the first AI-powered Edge Computing platform that connects the bike and rider to everything. He says MELROSE calculates, in real time, unprecedented amounts of assistance and critical applications for protection such as computer vision and C-V2X, navigation, predictive security, infotainment, voice , augmented reality and telematics. It is also 5G ready.
Marc Lambert, CEO of Lextan, says his Autopod semi-autonomous electric vehicle is the future of last mile delivery.
The Autopod vehicle is dedicated to delivering goods to urban areas and offers a new twist to the idea of using small, autonomous vehicles to deliver goods. Its autopilot is capable of performing simple maneuvers on its own in a dedicated environment. However, for complex situations where interaction with people is important, a remote operator takes over the controls. In order to create the best interactions with pedestrians, the visual and sound presence of the virtual driver is projected onto the vehicle windows so that they can maintain social interactions with people nearby. The strategy enables highly efficient use of professional drivers for vehicle fleets while maintaining good interactions with pedestrians and other road users.
Stampyt https://www.stamp.yt/en aims to take online auto retailing to new heights with smartphone images that can inspire new confidence in buyers, sellers and dealers purchasing vehicles online. New mobile phone apps allow sellers to photograph and display vehicles with professional 360-degree views and different backgrounds. Soon, AI-assisted smartphone apps are automating the inspection process and automatically detecting damaged parts that need to be repaired or replaced. The startup processed 25 million photos in 2019 and more than 2,000 consumer sites in Europe are using the company’s solutions.