10 automotive startups to watch in 2020

Predicting human movement, five-minute EV charging, and enhanced sensing all all a part of this latest crop of automotive startups reshaping the industry.
  • While the timeline for deploying fully autonomous vehicles keeps getting readjusted, that hasn't slowed growth in the automotive startup ecosystem. While companies are still working toward the goal of level 5 autonomy many others are tackling challenges around electric vehicles, cybersecurity, processor hardware, and other pain points in the automotive industry.

    Meet 10 of the newest automotive startups who are already having an impact on the auto industry that are likely to continue there momentum well into 2020 and beyond.

  • Acerta

    Canadian startup Acerta's mission is to provide automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers with data-driven insights to improve product quality at every stage of the design and manufacturing lifecycle. The company's Acerta Cortex is a data solution specifically designed for the automotive industry.

    Cortex transforms any existing storage structure into a smart data hub that allows for a wide range of machine learning solutions to be implemented in a single framework. The company says, Cortex “ eliminates data silos, increases data discoverability, and reduces data management overhead” without the need for labor intensive data engineering.

    (Image source: Acerta)

  • Chanje

    California-based Chanje is a new addition to the electric trucking space. The company manufactures vehicles dedicated to the “last mile” of delivery – where packages and goods go from the distribution center to their final destination.

    Chanje's V8100 (shown above) is a fully-electric, medium-duty, panel van with a 150-mile-per-charge range and 675 cubic feet of storage, capable of carrying up to a 6,000-lb payload.

    (Image source: Chanje)

  • GBatteries

    Canada's GBatteries is working on major obstacle for electric vehicles – charging times. Gas engine vehicles are way less green, but it certainly doesn't take hours to fill your gas tank.

    GBatteries is using a combination of software and hardware to drastically reduce vehicle charging times down to as fast as five minutes. Using hardware, along with AI that generates complex charging pulse profiles based on real-time monitoring and analysis of a battery's internal state, GBatteries is developing a means of charging off-the-shelf lithium-ion batteries as quickly as filling up a tank of gas.

    (Image source: GBatteries)

  • GuardKnox

    Israel has become notorious for producing companies with a novel approach to cybersecurity, and GuardKnox is no exception. The automotive cybersecurity company has taken technology used to secure Israeli fighter jets and ported it over to automotive. GuardKnox produces an electronic control unit (ECU) it calls the Secure Network Orchestrator (SNO) that protects each layer of a vehicle, from its keyless entry to infotainment system, and more, from cyberattacks. GuardKnox says its SNO can be implemented by OEMS, Tier 1's, and even in the aftermarket.

    (Image source: GuardKnox)

  • Humanising Autonomy

    The challenge with pedestrians is they don't ever behave the way you want or expect. UK and Detroit-based startup, Humanising Autonomy is leveraging AI to go one step beyond detecting pedestrians to actually predicting their behavior. The company says it has trained AI

    to make culture and context specific predictions. Someday autonomous cars will not just recognize pedestrians at a crosswalk, but also anticipate whether they may dart out into the street unexpectedly or aren't paying attention to traffic.

    Humanising Autonomy was the winner of the Automobility LA's 2019 Top Ten Automotive Startups Competition

    (Image source: Humanising Autonomy)

  • Silicon Mobility

    Silicon Mobility is a French startup that creates semiconductors targeted at the automotive industry – specifically for energy efficiency and reducing emissions. The company's OLEA field programmable control unit (FPCU) is designed for next-generation electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Combined with the company's own software stack, Silicon Mobility's FPCU's can control vehicle's motors, battery charging, and power conversion systems. The company says its products can help auto manufacturers increase the range of electric vehicles and also reduce pollutant emissions of hybrids.

    (Image source: Silicon Mobility)

  • StreetScooter

    Given it's name you might think that StreetScooter was out to compete with the likes of Bird and Lime. In reality the German startup produces electric delivery vehicles ranging from vans to small trucks for various commercial and municipal applications. The company's Work L truck (shown) features a 43 KwH lithium-ion battery and a 68 kW motor capable of up to 92 horsepower. The truck's box can also be customized and configured depending on its type of cargo. The company says it currently has more than 12,000 vehicles in daily use throughout Germany.

    (Image source: StreetScooter)

  • TriEye

    Israeli startup TriEye is a semiconductor company tackling the challenge of low visibility for autonomous vehicles and ADAS. The company's Raven camera is a CMOS sensor based, shortwave infrared (SWIR) camera that can capture HD images under all weather and lighting conditions while still remaining cost effective. TriEye says its camera technology is algorithm agnostic and can be implemented into exists ADAS and autonomous vehicle architectures.

    (Image source: TriEye)

  • TuSimple

    San Diego-based TuSimple has had a very big year. In 2019 both the USPS and UPS signed on to conduct pilot programs using the company's technology. TuSimple uses a combination of cameras and computer vision to convert long-haul trucks into level 4 autonomous vehicles. If the company's momentum continues through 2020 it's trucks could find their way into a variety of industries.

    (Image source: TuSimple)

  • Wunder Mobility

    Germany-based Wunder Mobility is all about mobility software. The company produces app-based platforms that help businesses and cities build and scale their mobility services. Essentially, rather than having to create a mobility platform from scratch, a vehicle maker can use Wunder Mobility's app to create their own custom solution. Think of it as an app builder or template – but for automotive fleets, e-scooters, bikes, or other vehicles. The company says its platform is deployed in more than 100 cities across five continents.

    (Image source: Wunder Mobility)

 

 

Chris Wiltz is a Senior Editor at   Design News  covering emerging technologies including AI, VR/AR, blockchain, and robotics.

 

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