AutoMobility LA, the new name for the press days before the public LA Auto Show in November, has announced the ten startups competing for visibility and mentoring opportunities. The board that chooses the finalists includes executives from companies small and large, new and old: Lyft, Google, NVIDIA, Local Motors, and General Electric, among others.
The startups that made the list cover a wide range of automotive technologies, from cybersecurity to ride hailing to service apps. There are no automakers like Elio Motors this year, but there is one company that is building foldable scooters for last-mile commuting.
Here are the top ten:
- Argus Cyber Security, a company that provides a ready-to-embed, cybersecurity solution suite for automobiles and aftermarket connectivity platforms.
- EverCharge Inc., a large scale multi-vehicle EV charging system that makes EV ownership accessible for everyone.
- HAAS Alert, a mobile vehicle-to-vehicle platform that delivers preemptive notifications to motorists and the car itself.
- LISNR, Inc, a company that develops ultrasonic communication technology between phone and car using existing hardware for keyless access, car payments, and vehicle personalization.
- PolySync, an operating system built for the high-bandwidth, high-compute requirements of fully autonomous driving.
- See Jane Go, a ridesharing app by women for women that ensures safety and trust, which is currently lacking in many existing ride-hail apps.
- Spatial.ai, a geospatial app that provides users with the culture and flavor of urban areas through big data analysis of social media.
- Spira4u Co., an alternative to the automotive market, built for safety, affordability, and eco-friendliness made primarily from high density foam.
- URBAN626, a company that creates lightweight, foldable, personal vehicles for last-mile travel. URB-E travels up to 15 mph, has a 20-mile range and folds to fit conveniently in a bus, train, or car trunk.
- YourMechanic, an on-demand marketplace for finding the best reputable mechanics and bringing them directly to your car.
All of these companies will be exhibiting at AutoMobility LA in the Technology Pavilion. The LA Auto Show has had a Connected Car Expo for the past few years, but this is a pivot toward the future of transportation that puts more emphasis on technology, cleaner fuels, and shared ownership. It seems that the LA Auto Show is setting itself up for a time when auto shows as we know them will be obsolete.
It’s also likely its organizers feel CES breathing down their necks. In 2016, there were more than 100 automotive tech companies at CES, and nine automotive manufacturers with huge auto-show-style displays and press events. Detroit is feeling the pressure too. The North American International Auto Show, which butts up against CES on the calendar in January, has a new AutoMobili-D space to showcase autonomous and connected vehicles as well as Mobility as a Service (MaaS).
Back to AutoMobility and these top ten startups. Three of these companies will be mentored on stage at the event by investor Bill Tai, and from those three, an ultimate winner will be announced. That team will attend the final celebration of the 2017 Extreme Tech Challenge, where they can rub elbows with those competitors and judges on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island.