Nobody can say for sure how we’re going to get ourselves around town in years to come. One thing is certain, though: change will happen. Individual ownership of internal-combustion cars is being challenged. Completely new forms of transport are being explored. And the sky is no longer the limit — space is!
With our Mobility.Pioneers event just around the corner, we’ve picked out five of the most noteworthy mobility startups to keep an eye on.
The Flying Car
Slovak startup AeroMobil makes use of technology previously limited to the defense industry, such as carbon fibre, advanced avionics, high-detail map digitization and control systems automation. It’s already completed tests and could hand over vehicles to its first customers as soon as next year.
AeroMobil’s founder Juraj Vaculik asks, “What could be more exciting than a flying car?” And if you’re not clear on the answer to that, check out the video that accompanied the AeroMobil launch at Pioneers Festival in 2014!
The Artificial Intelligence
With a single chip, the technology from AdasWorks can process a car’s camera and sensor data in real time. The AI system developed by Budapest-based entrepreneurs Arjen de Jong and Aaron D’Souza can reliably detect, understand and predict the environment around a vehicle. Startups like these are critical to the success of self-driving technology.
The open-source electric car
No less a claim than ‘Uniti is coming to save the world’ adorns this ambitious Swedish company’s website. Their vehicle project is largely a hardware integration one, as they move towards a sustainable, efficient, electric city car that is far better-suited to its purpose than today’s options. The team is documenting its technical journey in colourful fashion on its website.
The car-bike hybrid
The brainchild of entrepreneur Danny Kim, the C-1 from Lit Motors takes the best bits of car and motorcycle technology, blending them into a slim, two-wheeled hybrid that is perfect for city use. The fully-electric C-1 can balance itself, even at a standstill. A couple of years out from going to market and ahead of plans to make the C-1 self-driving, Kim says: “The C1 would work perfectly with the concept of ride-sharing, and if you pair this with autonomous driving, you have the perfect city transportation system.”
The rocket recycler
Maybe not your typical startup, in the sense that Elon Musk is behind it, SpaceX deserves a mention for its work with bringing rockets safely back to earth — as opposed to letting them drop into the sea. When its Falcon 9 rocket landed safely on a drone ship last year, it may have heralded a game-change for space travel. “This is another step towards the stars,” said Musk afterwards, referring to the enormous cost drop that could result from re-using rockets.
This selection of startups was drawn from the mobility chapter of the latest Pioneers Discover Future Report. You can download this chapter as an ebook free of charge here.