Future of mobility championed by SMMT

22 October 2019

22 October 2019

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has deemed its second Future Mobility Challenge event a success, with 43 technology start-ups coming together with five of the world’s leading motor industry brands.

The event, held this year at Plexal Innovation Centre at Here East in London, drives cross-sector collaboration between large and small businesses, with successful candidates securing new partnerships, mentorship and investment after an engaging day of pitching new initiatives to leading brands in the automotive sector.

Senior representatives from some of the biggest names in the automotive sector heard pitches from 43 ambitious start-ups and SMEs from nine different countries. The candidates were shortlisted from 136 entries and were invited to pitch innovative mobility solutions to representatives from Ford Mobility, Bosch, Toyota, and new participants this year – Honda and Volvo Car UK.

Last year’s participating automotive heavyweights – Ford Mobility, Bosch, Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover and BMW – ended up in discussion with 18 (39%) of the participating candidates with a view to partner or invest in their ideas. This year will see new ideas pitched ranging from data solutions to digital applications for shared mobility, fleets and new subscription models, and from new cybersecurity solutions to AI in future vehicles. All innovations that could one day redefine the future of mobility and, indeed, the automotive sector.

Sector round-up

During the sessions, start-ups and SMEs pitched solutions to eight key innovation opportunities:

  • Generating insights and creating value from mobility data – creating customer value through, for example, seamless payments at fuel forecourts and charge points or integrated insurance services
  • Innovative solutions for intelligent fleets – innovative solutions that go beyond existing telematics offerings, potentially helping operators to optimise fleets, reduce their environmental footprint or support drivers’ wellbeing.
  • Urban mobility solutions for future cities – smart use of data to help tackle challenges such as congestion, parking and access to transport services, or deliver integrated propositions to promote active mobility.
  • New ownership, 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 customer experiences in the age of hyper convenience – using augmented or virtual reality and industrial IoT and blockchain solutions to deliver efficient business processes and premium and lifestyle customer propositions.
  • New connected and in-car services – unique solutions to unlock greater potential from connectivity such as location services, real-time traffic information or remote services including, for example, predictive maintenance.
  • Automated driving technologies for on- and off-road vehicles – new solutions for everything from artificial intelligence and machine learning, to automated driving, glass and display technologies, audio, and cybersecurity solutions.
  • E-mobility solutions – advanced e-mobility technologies to facilitate intuitive driving, improve battery usage and easily provide information on charging facilities, as well as never-before-seen technologies to drive energy efficiency for electric drivetrains and optimise energy storage for EVs and charging stations.

′After the success of last year’s SMMT’s Future Mobility Challenge, it is great to see even more applications from new businesses across the world,’ said the body’s chief executive Mike Hawes. ′SMMT’s Future Mobility Challenge provides the perfect opportunity for automotive industry leaders and innovative technology SMEs to collaborate. The UK’s hard-won reputation as a hub for innovation and emerging new technologies means we can continue to attract some of the best and brightest from across the world to this event. We are on the cusp of a transport revolution, and UK automotive is ready for the journey.’