TechCrunch Mobility Session Round Up 2022

In case you weren’t able to attend this year’s TechCrunch Mobility Session, Runway’s Corporate Innovation Team was in the trenches to uncover the latest trends, scout for the most innovative technology solutions, and interviewed the movers and shakers of the mobility industry.

Key Insights:

1. All things Fleet & Trucking: There is a tremendous shift in developing smart solutions for mid-and long range trucking logistics such as:

  • Charging: We talked to Auroskanda Vepari, Founder and CEO of Mole which develops a fully autonomous, robotic charging device that enables businesses to accelerate their transition to a fully electrified fleet.
  • Trucking: Eric Canonge, VP of Product at SOLO, a startup of former Tesla, Waymo, and BMW engineers, which is designing a new electric Class 8 truck specifically for autonomous driving, shared insights on how the SD 1 has the lowest drag coefficient of any Class 8 truck on the road with full, aerospace-level system redundancy.
  • Fleet Management: Ziv Rosen, Co-Founder, and VP of Engineering of Roadz, a Silicon Valley-based fleet-tech company, that is connecting commercial fleet operators to an ecosystem of pre-integrated smart fleet management solutions, gave an insightful demo of their platform.

2. Defining an Autonomous Mobility System is about understanding what mix of analog and digital interactions customers would appreciate:
Finding the right balance of human-machine symbiosis will remain a challenge for enterprises embarking on autonomous mobility initiatives.

  • Zoox: Explained that full automation that relies on machine-to-machine interaction will provide for better planning and optimization of autonomous mobility networks.
  • Google spin-out Waymo: Believes that full automation is still the main trajectory, however, machine-human interaction was still necessary, as human judgment and intervention could deliver the best outcome at a granular level. The primary goal at this stage is to overcome the human biases that come with autonomous vehicles.

3. Established Automakers Partner with Disruptive Startups This is to stay relevant and competitive with new entrants such as Tesla, Rivian, or Nio:

  • VW Group CEO Herbert Diess is in a race to transform the automaker into a global leader in software, EV sales, and autonomous vehicles and highlighted on the TC Mobility Stage, the recent investments into ArgoAI (software provider for autonomous driving technology). Such partnerships are important and complementary as the OEM can move much quicker and offer more competitive innovative products while integrating these disruptive technologies.
  • VW is aiming to achieve a 10% market share in the US by the end of the decade with their EV brand Scout contributing 2%. VW Scout is looking for technological innovation in battery applications, and charging (especially solar panel charging).

4. Transformation of the Aviation Industry ushering Flying 4.0 and beyond

  • Xwing promises to provide a safer autonomous flying experience by integrating sensors and maps with their onboard flight control systems to allow for safer navigation, takeoff, and landing
  • Advancements in navigation, position and electric propulsion have startups like Aeromobil, at the cusp of democratizing flying for society with their 4-seater aerial ride-hailing service. Providing door-to-door convenience for a 100-500 mile range in America

About Runway Innovation Hub

Runway is a Silicon Valley-based innovation company accelerating the success of global innovators and entrepreneurs. We help corporations through results-focused innovation consulting and power the growth of startups through acceleration programs, mentorship and coworking services. Since 2013, we have has accelerated the innovation efforts of 40+ global companies like Fujitsu, Lenovo and IBM through customized innovation strategy services. Learn more about how we can help you do the same here.