Ford, BMW, Toyota, Jaguar partner on Future Mobility, blockchain, IOT
SMMT Future Mobility Challenge

Ford, BMW, Toyota, Jaguar partner on Future Mobility, blockchain, IOT

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT) has launched a ‘Future Mobility Challenge’ to the technology and automotive sectors.

Under the new scheme, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Bosch, Ford, and Toyota are collaborating with the SMMT to encourage tech startups across a broad range of sectors – including finance, health, and even fashion – to pitch solutions to a range of challenges that are facing the automotive industry (see below).

The Challenge aims to explore a range of issues, from investigating the potential of blockchain, to security, the Internet of Things (IoT), and health and wellbeing.

“The Future Mobility Challenge provides the perfect opportunity for automotive industry leaders and innovative technology SMEs to collaborate,” explained SMMT CEO, Mike Hawes.

We’re looking for innovators across the technology community to help automotive explore new horizons, appealing to the continuously changing demands of consumers. We are delighted to have onboard such strong automotive brands and partners, and are looking forward to what will be, I am sure, intense competition from innovative SMEs and startups.

Those SMEs that win the attention of the representatives will benefit from new partnerships, investments, and acquisitions, he said.

Shaping future mobility

Startups and SMEs are invited to provide solutions to one or more of the following challenges:

  • Harnessing the potential of mobility data – Creating customer value through the likes of seamless payments at fuel forecourts and charge-points or integrated insurance services.
  • 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 EV charging infrastructure constraints, or to deliver integrated propositions to promote active mobility.
  • Innovative 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 – Perhaps using augmented/virtual reality, remote services, and/or blockchain solutions to deliver efficient business processes, and premium or lifestyle customer propositions.
  • New connected car services – Unique solutions to unlock greater potential from connectivity, such as location services, journey management, or remote services, including predictive maintenance.
  • Future vehicle technologies – New solutions for everything from artificial intelligence and machine learning, to automated driving, new glass and display technologies, audio, and battery management.

Several leading technology bodies are supporting the initiative, including the Transport Systems and Digital Catapults, Grant Thornton, Level39, Plexal, and Tech London Advocates, among others.

Lars Klawitter, executive director of InMotion Ventures and Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are excited to be involved in the new Future Mobility Challenge, which is providing an industry platform to see and collectively generate truly innovative mobility tech solutions.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for SMEs and startups to showcase their solutions, and allows Jaguar Land Rover and other industry partners access for collaboration. We are very much looking forward to seeing the ideas come in.”

Those wishing to participate should head to the SMMT’s Future Mobility Challenge page and submit a pitch to one or more of the challenges. The closing date is 30 June, 2018.

Around 50 of the best solutions will be invited to pitch in closed sessions at the Future Mobility Challenge event in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in October.

 The news comes in the wake of the announcement last week that Ford, Renault, GM, BMW, IBM, and the IOTA Foundation are among the 37 launch partners of the new MOBI initiative to explore blockchain solutions within the transport sector.

Internet of Business says

These are fast-changing times for connected transport. The automotive industry is looking to boost collaboration and create global ecosystems that accelerate digital transformation.

For example, our recent report on the MOBI consortium, an organisation that could “make transportation safer, more affordable, and more widely accessible”, attracted huge interest, and since then we have reported on soaring investment in EV infrastructure.

The Future Mobility Challenge has similar potential to be a catalyst for change. As a result, it presents a significant opportunity for innovative tech startups to have their ideas heard – with serious business intent behind the programme.

With the best solutions benefiting from a clear route to market, incubation, acceleration, piloting, funding, and/or acquisition opportunities, this goes beyond a simple forum for testing new concepts. It also represents a chance for the automotive giants leading it to learn from the creativity and agility of the companies that rise to the challenge.