Michigan visionaries in the fields of AI, mobility and autonomous vehicles showcased Detroit as an automobility hub with their best demos, hacks and networking at the Consumer’s Electronics Show (CES), a global convention in Las Vegas of consumer technologies. Many Detroit-based companies, some which have a presence in the PlanetM Landing Zone, headed there to showcase the technologies they’re building in Michigan.
Startups including Ann Arbor’s Intvo to Bloomfield Hills-based Karamba Security joined more than 4,500 exhibitors at CES, adjacent to the exhibition areas of industry giants such as Bosch, Google and LG Electronics. The technology companies launched new products, announced new partnerships and engaged more than 180,000 attendees on topics ranging from robotics to augmented reality to smart cities.
“The conference was an opportunity to meet with potential investors, other founders and Detroit-area startups that will help Intvo evolve,” said Assam Alzookery, CEO and founder of the early-stage company that uses AI to help autonomous vehicles better understand people and pedestrian behavior.
“CES offers a world stage for validating your business proposition. We received live, instant feedback on our startup and business model,” said Alzookery, who said Intvo officials met with OEMs like Ford, FCA and Mercedes as well as automotive suppliers including Magna and Bosch. Now, Alzookery said Intvo is now working with one of the investors it met at CES to close on its first seed round funding.
“For Bosch, it was a chance to show its evolution into a global IoT company,” said Alissa Cleland, head of communications and CSR for Bosch North America. CES served as the global debut of its future concept vehicle, the Bosch IoT Shuttle, which showcases the systems and components it has developed for automation, connectivity and electrification of shuttle systems. The company also launched #LikeABosch to highlight Bosch’s people-focused approach to IoT.
CES was an ideal spot to highlight its “deep roots in the mobility startup community, both regionally and globally,” Cleland said. In 2018, Bosch—a PlanetM Landing Zone member—acquired Detroit-based startup SPLT and made a strategic investment in Mojio, allowing both with access to the Landing Zone services including wrap around services provided by the Detroit Regional Chamber and Michigan Economic Development Corporation
“At CES, we announced a new partnership with Mojio to co-develop solutions in connected services for both manufactures and consumers, beginning with vehicle communication and diagnostics as well as crash detection and notification,” Cleland said. “Mobility services are a central element for the future mobility landscape at Bosch. We believe that cooperation and collaboration within the industry will help build the ecosystem for market development.”
Karamba Security CEO and Co-founder Ami Dotan said he and company representatives worked for four months before CES to set up 350 meetings during the all-important conference. A staff of 12 Karamba officials met with people around the clock while also doing a live hacking demonstration that highlighted how its cybersecurity programs block attacks on autonomous and connected vehicles.
“Part of what I noticed at CES is how 2019 is a different era. You don’t have to convince the OEMs, suppliers and other companies that cybersecurity should come hand in hand with the safety of cars, passengers and pedestrians,” Dotan said. “CES was a great experience because people were more aware that there are solutions at hand.”
Intvo, Karamba Security, SPLT, and Bosch are all members of the PlanetM Landing Zone, a coworking space for global mobility startups and automotive companies in downtown Detroit. Through the Landing Zone, members can connect, share and collaborate to drive innovation in next-generation mobility. For more information on the PlanetM Landing Zone, visit www.planetmlandingzone.com.
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