Despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing economic uncertainty, 2020 still managed to produce thousands of startups. To introduce you to 7 emerging startups founded in 2020, we analyzed 4.859 automotive startups. All of them develop innovative solutions spanning from autonomous driving to automotive sensor development and electric vehicle (EV) solutions.
The 7 promising automotive startups you should watch in 2021 were hand-picked based on our data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. The 4.859 companies that were analyzed for this report, are identified using the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 1.379.000+ startups & scaleups globally. When you are looking for up-to-date automotive solutions for your innovation units, R&D, or product development department, the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform gives you the most exhaustive collection and ensures you continuously discover new startups, scaleups, and technologies.
Global Startup Heat Map: 7 Automotive Startups to Watch in 2021
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 7 automotive startups, established in 2020, developing technology-driven solutions for the automotive industry. Moreover, you can explore global hotspots for automotive startups and even download this graphic to include in your next presentation.
Blackshark.ai – Simulation Testing for Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)
Autonomous vehicle manufacturers strive to improve existing capabilities powering level – 5 autonomous vehicles. A wide variety of automotive design, comfort, sensors, and lighting make it necessary for automotive design and engineering teams to iterate numerous ideas. Advancements in virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) enable automotive startups to offer innovative solutions to reduce the time spent on testing.
Blackshark.ai is an Austrian startup developing a digital twin platform that uses AI and cloud computing to automatically transform input, such as satellite data and aerial images, to create a photorealistic 3D environment. The startup’s DRIVE Sim uses high-fidelity simulation to provide a safe, scalable, and cost-effective way to power self-driving vehicles. Further, Blackshark.ai employs NVIDIA RTXTM graphics processing units (GPUs) to generate qualified miles for AV testing. DRIVE Sim also offers connectivity to the AV stack-under-testing in both Software-in-the-Loop (SIL) and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) configurations.
Harpocrates – Connected Car Data Privacy
The Internet of Vehicles, which comprise different sensors to guide AVs on the road, are steadily catching up in terms of data collection and processing. This raises concerns regarding the safety and privacy of automotive data. For instance, access to vehicle data may lead to misuse by some parties through stalking or stealing personal information. Emerging automotive solutions are working to provide data privacy and security solutions to enable more data sharing and also improve AV performance.
Harpocrates is a German RegTech startup building a high-performance digital regulatory rules engine. The engine utilizes an application programming interface (API)- and software development kit (SDK)-based delivery system that enables business-to-business (B2B) clients to implement data protection and privacy compliance. This solution is useful for app developers, IoT manufacturers, and connected car producers to manage their global data privacy obligations.
Eve Autonomy – Autonomous Factory Vehicles
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected manufacturing and logistics activities in many parts of the world. To this end, companies are working on technology-driven solutions to manage the effects of the pandemic. For the purposes of moving goods in lightly populated factories, AVs are ideally suited to meet current requirements. Startups and scaleups are working on self-driving solutions to help factories overcome reduced workforce and tight budgets.
Japanese startup Eve Autonomy is a joint venture between Yamaha Motor and Tier Intelligent Vehicle offering Smart Factory Vehicles. The startup employs self-driving technology to offer low-investment options to implement autonomous vehicles in factories. The vehicles are equipped with various sensors and also operate in both indoor and outdoor environments. The startup envisions the use of low-cost autonomous driving solutions for factories of all sizes.
HeyCharge – Electric Car Charging Solution
Electric vehicles (EVs) potentially play an important role in reducing global dependency on fossil fuels. However, electric cars still face cost- and technology-related challenges that prevent their widespread adoption. With EV manufacturers currently offering lower battery range, installing more EV charging stations bridges the gap between technology advancement and EV adoption.
HeyCharge is a Swiss startup that intends to remove barriers facing electric vehicle adoption. The startup helps apartments install low-cost EV charging stations to encourage more people to drive electric cars. With the help of its HeyCharge Dashboard, property managers easily manage tenants and monitor charging points.
Surge Analytics – EV Battery Storage Software
Along with more charging stations, startups are also looking for ways to improve battery and storage capacity to encourage wider adoption of EVs. Using novel materials for energy conductivity, automotive companies are working to bring the next-generation of batteries to everyday life. For example, battery-related innovation includes wireless charging for EVs and advanced electric propulsion technology.
Singapore-based startup Surge Analytics develops electric vehicle and stationary storage software that enables automotive research and development (R&D) teams to determine the optimal cell chemistry, configuration, and thermal management systems. Surge Analytics’ Battery Design Tools enable companies to optimize modules or pack designs for meeting the cost and performance, as well as safety and sustainability requirements of electric vehicle batteries.
Fibrecoat – Glass-Thermoplastic Fiber
The development of new materials further enhances the options available for car manufacturers to incorporate lightweight designs. From rust and dust resistance to a significant reduction in the weight of individual auto parts, emerging companies are rapidly innovating for application in the automotive sector. Using newer and lighter materials typically helps in reducing overall material and fuel costs as well.
Fibrecoat is a German startup that creates core-sheath filaments using new glass-thermoplastic fiber that incorporates reinforcement and hotmelt matrix components. The startup’s online coating technology is capable of coating 2.000 m/minute and achieves homogenous impregnation with a fiber volume fraction between 60% and 80%. This process results in light-weight and strong automotive components while also lowering material and manufacturing costs.
Tangram Vision – Self-Maintaining Sensor Calibration
Sensors play an important role in the success or failure of autonomous driving solutions. Engineering teams usually spend a considerable amount of time adjusting and resetting sensors to enable their accurate functioning. Especially with AVs, high-precision solutions are required to tackle any concerns regarding the safety of passengers. This drives innovation in various self-sustaining and autonomous calibration technologies to improve sensor accuracy.
The US-based startup Tangram Vision specializes in improving sensor reliability for vision-enabled systems and devices. Tangram’s self-maintaining calibration service ensures maximum uptime with minimal interference. The solution also integrates rapidly into existing code and manages calibration for full fleets of vision-enabled devices, at scale. The startup also provides in-depth sensor performance analysis, such as visual data, metadata, diagnostic messages, and sensor logs. The Tangram Integration SDK, a software development kit, further simplifies prototyping and R&D of various vision-enabled solutions.
What does 2021 bring for the Automotive Industry?
To stay ahead of the technology curve, it is important that you know which technologies and industry trends will impact your company in 2021. You can explore our report on the Top 10 Automotive Industry Trends or let us do the work for you. To keep you up-to-date on the latest technology and emerging solutions, we provide you with actionable innovation intelligence – quickly and exhaustively.