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Entrepreneurs are inspired by everything. They’re moved by a desire to elevate what’s already in existence, and they’re compelled to bring their dreams to life. Product and business creation aren’t necessarily sparked by a need to generate money, it’s driven by artistry, intelligence, and hunger for innovation. Big suppliers know this, and that’s why the automotive industry, for example, lap after high-tech startups, easily considered untapped goldmines. 

EV batteries, self-driving automobiles, and infotainment are tantalizing technologies causing the palms of big suppliers to itch. They understand what it means to link up with new businesses that conceptualize pivotal and leading tech. If these suppliers are fortunate enough to connect with these startups or incorporate products using newfangled technology, they stand to make a great deal of money.

Elio Motors, Capio, HopSkipDrive, Sober Steering, TriLumina, Driversiti, Quanergy, Nebula Systems, Getaround and High Mobility are prime examples of top tier startups contributing to the automotive ecosystem. They’re among many auto-related startups that flourish because of their execution, social buzz and acumen in vision. These different startups can functionally do anything from help you drive your car to automatically recognize and connect to a variety of device based on speech recognition. They are developments that will earn high value because they allow cars to think predict or react, or they equip vehicles with the ability to prevent drunk driving through sensors that are embedded in a steering wheel.

Robert Bosch GmbH, Harman International Industries Inc., and Delphi Automotive are three mega-suppliers who’ve opted to absorb startup concepts into their assembly plans. Delphi, for instance, released a self-driving Audi SQ5 onto the streets of Las Vegas, during the Consumer Electronics Show. A radar and a number of cameras had been fixed onto the car, as well as six compact, discrete lidars developed by Quanergy Systems. Delphi has taken a moderate stake in Quanergy, and they plan to lower the cost of the souped-up Audi SQ5 by $200 – $250 before putting it into production in 2019.

Delphi is also looking to partner with a startup that specializes in artificial intelligence software, used to identify and predict behaviors of a nearby car when the self-driving feature is enabled. It will be able to discriminate between a school bus, a delivery van, and a taxi cab, predicting how these fellow vehicles may behave under different circumstances. Presently, Delphi is seeking out startups, but they’re also working in tandem with multiple universities to produce this technology.

Others in the automotive industry are looking to double the energy density of EV batteries, and others are focused on integrating security systems into the bodies of high-tech smart vehicles, aware that these vehicles will be vulnerable to hackers and could be remotely hijacked.


Learn more about Mark Seyforth by connecting with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.