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Industry hears ideas about expanding EV charging infrastructure.
Industry hears ideas about expanding EV charging infrastructure.

U.K. Auto Industry Recruits Tech Innovators

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ initiative is meant to help the industry discover new collaborations, investments and partnerships among start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises.

The U.K. automotive industry holds a brainstorming session for manufacturers and tech start-ups to promote innovation and mobility solutions.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ Future Mobility Challenge initiative is meant to help the industry discover new collaborations, investments and partnerships.

The 49 start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were invited to pitch innovative mobility solutions to some of the biggest names in the automotive sector: BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Bosch, Ford and Toyota.

SMMT says the project is designed to drive cross-sector collaboration and could result in new partnerships, routes to market, investments and acquisitions between automotive companies and innovative technology start-ups and SMEs.

“From data solutions to digital applications for shared mobility, fleets and new subscription models, and from new cybersecurity solutions to (artificial intelligence) in future vehicles, some of the innovations pitched today could one day redefine the future of mobility and, indeed, the automotive sector,” SMMT says in a statement.

The start-ups and SMEs pitched solutions to seven key innovation opportunities:

  • Harnessing the potential of mobility data: creating customer value through, for example, seamless payments at fuel stations and electric-vehicle charge points or integrated insurance services.
  • Intelligent solutions for intelligent fleets: innovative solutions that go beyond existing telematics offerings, potentially helping operators optimize fleets, reduce their environmental footprint or support drivers’ well-being.
  • Urban mobility solutions for future cities: smart use of data to help tackle challenges such as congestion, parking and EV charging infrastructure constraints, or deliver integrated propositions to promote active mobility.
  • Innovative shared and on-demand mobility models: solutions to identify and deliver new, flexible models of car ownership or sharing via a single platform to bring mobility to more people.
  • Creating new and superior convenience experiences for customers, using augmented or virtual reality and remote services or blockchain solutions to deliver efficient business processes and premium and lifestyle customer propositions.
  • New connected-car services: unique solutions to unlock greater potential from connectivity such as location services, journey management or remote services including, for example, predictive maintenance.
  • Future vehicle technologies: new solutions for everything from artificial intelligence and machine learning to automated driving, glass and display technologies, audio and battery management.

SMMT has created a new membership option specifically designed for tech start-ups.

The associate tech start-up package is open to new companies offering a digital product or service, whose principal area of business is not within the automotive industry.

With access to services including networking, profile-raising, community access and business development, the new package will see SMMT support these new businesses, helping them grow when time and resources may be in short supply.

Membership is open to companies operating for less than five years, employing fewer than 50 people and having annual sales of less than £1 million ($1.3 million).

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