Meet the Startups Participating in Techstars Mobility’s Class of 2018

Detroit’s Techstars Mobility accelerator has announced its new cohort of startups working to advance technologies related to the movement of people and goods.

Eleven companies are participating in the program this year, and, in a Medium post, program director Ted Serbinski said all of them have “diverse founding teams in regards to gender, ethnicity, or age.” The cohort also reflects geographical diversity, with startups from Hong Kong, London, and across the United States. (None are from Michigan, Serbinski said, but four are based in the Midwest.)

You can learn more what each team is working on at an Oct. 9 demo day event at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Serbinski said he expects more than 1,000 attendees this year, and if it’s anything like last year’s installment, it’ll be chock-full of interesting entrepreneurs and innovations. (Click here for more information on the demo day event; it’s free and open to the public.)

Read on for a description of each company in the 2018 Techstars Mobility class; all descriptions were gleaned from the companies’ websites:

Aerotronic (Indianapolis): Aerotronic makes single-rotor, unmanned autonomous drones for use in inspecting powerlines, offshore oil and gas rigs, pipelines, railways, and roads. It also has mapping, first responder, military applications. Plus, it looks really cool, like a helicopter from the year 3000. Aerotronic’s lead product, Dauntless, is made with advanced composite materials and uses lithium polymer batteries.

Autobon AI (Chicago): Autobon AI is the maker of an autopilot system for fleet vehicles that is powered by artificial intelligence. Autobon, led by a father-and-son team, is the second Techstars Mobility startup to be co-founded by a parent and child. (Last year’s class included Seeva, Jere and Diane Lansinger’s company.)

DeepHow (New York City): DeepHow uses AI and wearable devices to transform dense technical manuals for servicing industrial machines into interactive, step-by-step instructions. The enterprise system includes an on-demand remote expert to provide assistance.

Driver Technologies (Brooklyn, NY): Part dash cam and part alert system, the free Driver mobile app allows mounted smartphones to record videos of trips without requiring a monthly fee. Driver also provides collision warnings (vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists) and saves back-up recordings to the cloud. Coming soon: turn-by-turn navigation and voice-controlled access to music, news, and podcasts.

Humanising Autonomy (London, UK): Predicting the behavior of pedestrians is one of the hardest challenges to solve in the development of autonomous vehicles. Humanising Autonomy uses “culture and context-specific predictions” to gauge human intent in complex urban environments. So far, the company has studied pedestrian behavior in New York City, London, Tokyo, and Mumbai to inform its products.

IntelliTire (San Francisco): IntelliTire is developing “smart” tires designed to improve safety and performance. The company website doesn’t include many details, likely because the company is still in stealth mode. But according to CB Insights, the tires use sensors and software to predict tire health.

LaneSpotter (Pittsburgh): Like Waze for bikes, LaneSpotter is an app that helps cyclists find a city’s bike lanes and other safe routes. Bikers rate the roads they travel for safety and submit the info to the app, creating a comprehensive map that notes short cuts, lane closures, gaping potholes, and other hazards.

Lumos (Hong Kong): Speaking of bikes, cyclists sometimes worry that the dinky lights mounted on their handlebars won’t be enough to alert drivers to their presence and intentions. Enter Lumos, which makes a smart bike helmet with a small bank of LED lights, displaying turn signals and brake signals.

Priva (Chicago): Short flights for regional business travel are expensive and a hassle, the company maintains. So Priva offers WiFi-enabled luxury vehicles loaded with amenities to provide door-to-door service for small groups of business travelers. Priva operates only in Detroit at the moment, but plans to expand to other cities soon.

SkyHi (San Francisco): SkyHi members pay $199 per month to access five flat-rate, one-way flights over the course of the month. Travelers going to a destination up to 1,000 miles away pay an additional $35 for a ticket, $75 for a flight between 1,000 and 2,000 miles away, and $120 for a flight that is 2,000 to 3,000 miles away. (For example, a New Yorker would pay $35 to fly to Chicago, $75 to fly to Denver, and $120 to fly to Los Angeles.)

Zohr (Kansas City, MO): The process of buying new tires can eat the better part of a Saturday afternoon, but Zohr believes it doesn’t have to be that way. Its customers can go to the company’s website, choose the tires they want according to the make and model of their vehicles, and Zohr will deliver and install them on-site at the customer’s location.

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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