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SMMT Future Mobility Challenge draws tech start-ups to plan next phase in motor retailing

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is behind a new cross-industry initiative to interest technology start-ups in developing solutions to change the way people buy and use cars.

Its first Future Mobility Challenge event brought in 49 start-ups and SMEs to pitch their innovations to executives from BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Bosch, Ford and Toyota.

The SMMT said the initiative is designed to drive cross-sector collaboration and could result in new partnerships, routes to market, investments and acquisitions between automotive companies and innovative technology start-ups and SMEs.

From data solutions to digital applications for shared mobility, fleets and new subscription models, and from new cyber security solutions to AI in future vehicles, some of the innovations pitched today could one day redefine the future of mobility and, indeed, the automotive sector, it said.

The start-ups and SMEs pitched solutions to seven key innovation opportunities:

  • Harnessing the potential of mobility data – creating customer value through, for example, seamless payments at fuel forecourts and chargepoints or integrated insurance services.
  • Intelligent solutions for 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 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 – using augmented or virtual reality and remote services or blockchain solutions to deliver efficient business processes and premium and 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, for example, predictive maintenance.
  • Future vehicle technologies – new solutions for everything from artificial intelligence and machine learning, to automated driving, glass and display technologies, audio, and battery management.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “SMMT’s first Future Mobility Challenge provides the perfect opportunity for automotive industry leaders and innovative technology SMEs to collaborate.

“From future vehicle technologies and innovative connected car services, to intelligent data tools and cyber security solutions, innovators from across the country are presenting technology advancements that could help shape the future the industry in the UK.

“The challenges facing the automotive sector are significant but exciting and it’s clear that innovation will be key. We want to encourage the brightest and the best to be part of that future, one that will define the future of mobility.” 

  • Visit Automotive Management Live on November 8 for free to learn more about what the future may hold for UK motor retailers, with insights in our Vision of the Future strategic session from ICDP, CDK Global, Hyundai, Cox Automotive and Cambria Automobiles. Click here for more details and to register.

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