According to data from Statista Research, 34% of Americans expect self-driving vehicles to be commonplace within a decade (statista.com/chart/13860/americans-expect-driverless-cars-to-be-common-in-10-years). If autonomous vehicles sound like the stuff of science fiction to you, it is time to adjust your thinking. There are a growing number of automobile startups building businesses within the autonomous vehicle sector. If you want a sneak peek at the future of transportation, logistics, and human mobility, check out the following self-driving vehicle startups you might have missed.
What do you get when you cross autonomous vehicles with food deliveries? If you’re into drone deliveries, you get up-and-coming automobile startup Waec (waec.co). Based out of Boston and founded by Brandon Eck and Brett Wagner, Waec is hoping to bring autonomous food deliveries to sidewalks in your city. Waec plans to build sturdy ground drones built to last and primed for performance over the long haul. While they may eventually integrate air drones into their delivery plans, their current focus is solely on ground transportation autonomous vehicles.
Waec is currently incubated in the Mass Robotics Incubator program (massrobotics.org) as they attempt to bring their dream of autonomous sidewalk robots to life. With a team of talented specialists at their disposal including robotics specialists, mechatronics specialists, and visual perception/navigation engineers, Waec may just have what it takes to make autonomous ground drones a reality. With everyone from the U.S.A. military to Amazon interested in developing autonomous ground drones, the race is definitely on to see which automobile startups will succeed in this space. With prototypes already pictured on their website (bit.ly/2L4W3KK), it may not be long before this up-and-coming autonomous automobile startup starts to attract mainstream media attention.
Recently profiled by Bloomberg (youtube.com/watch?v=OjDLwnTyybo), Zoox is building the next generation of autonomous vehicles. Instead of retrofitting existing vehicles to drive autonomously, Zoox (zoox.com) is building a fleet of autonomous robots that can be summoned on an as-needed basis. While some companies are already competing in the autonomous vehicle space, Zoox is taking self-driving vehicles to an entirely new level by building their own driving robots from scratch.
Lest you think autonomous driving is just for cars and trucks, check out NViron (nviron.ai). Currently, in stealth mode, NViron hopes to bring autonomous driving to the street sweeper. With a vision towards the future of smart cities, Nviron hopes to help cities reduce their infrastructure costs while improving their cleanliness at the same time.
With so many competitors in the self-driving space, it makes sense that a savvy startup would come along to serve the needs of multiple autonomous driving companies. That’s where Renovo AWare (renovo.auto) comes in. Billing themselves as the “operating system built specifically for automated mobility”, AWare plans to serve multiple companies building businesses within the autonomous vehicle sector. Offering everything from driver-monitoring technology to self-driving artificial intelligence interfaces, AWare hopes to connect autonomous vehicle startups with the technology they need, rather than having themselves build it from scratch.
Braiq (braiq.ai) is another autonomous driving startup to keep on your radar. Braiq hopes to bring personalization to the self-driving automobile sector by allowing vehicles to learn the driving preferences of their inhabitants. Based upon a driver/rider’s reaction to their vehicle’s performance, Braiq technology will allow a self-driving automobile to adjust its own driving style to better suit the personality of its occupant.
These autonomous vehicle startups are just a few examples of what is happening within the self-driving vehicle startup sector. If you are intrigued by the future of transportation and logistics, paying attention to what is happening in the autonomous transportation sector makes good sense. Keep these companies on your radar as they are likely to be the first of many startup businesses exploring opportunities at the intersection of smart cities and autonomous driving.