Smart routing and mobility infrastructure

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Smart routing, mapping and planning

An area of huge growth is the increasing use of smart technology and Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) by cities and governments to help better connect vehicles and infrastructure.

In this regard, the use of increasingly advanced Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and AI technologies has become critical. As such the market for localisation and mapping technologies is rapidly growing, also driven by future opportunities around autonomous cars, drones and AR/VR devices.

Three German companies are also at the forefront. TerraLoupe leverages AI to analyse aerial image data, enabling the automated generation of digital maps and related environmental information. Naventik has developed Pathfinder, a high-precision software solution which enables diverse sensor systems within a vehicle to deliver partially autonomous driving at a relevant security level. Promotives hosts services for autonomous vehicles in car parks, logistic hubs and other enclosed environments.

A major deal earlier this year involving two leading companies in the field saw Artisense acquired by Kudan. Another deal saw Moovit App Global receive €41 ($50m) in funding to expand its tech and business development, and it now plans to expand significantly the number of cities in which its data analytics improve urban mobility.

Electric Vehicle (EV) charging

An effective and efficient EV charging network is essential for the wider take-up of electric vehicles.

For instance, Ubitricity has developed low-cost EV charge points that can be integrated into lamp posts and bollards, thereby allowing end-users to benefit from lower charging infrastructure costs and removing the need for dedicated parking bays. Last year it closed a €20m funding round backed by French energy group EDF, the venture capital arm of Siemens, and carmaker Honda.

Smart routing car
EDF subsequently announced that it had chosen Ubitricity to be the electricity provider for its UK charging network, thereby helping those without off-street parking in urban areas to access a reliable supply of power to charge their EVs. Around 40% of cars are parked on the street overnight in the UK, meaning an offer such as this is needed if EVs are to be widely adopted.

German start-up Chargery has a particularly interesting business model. Its employees ride an electric bike with a large power bench in the bike trailer which is then hooked up to the location of the electric car. Earlier this year the company received further investment from the Helvetia Venture Fund, along with Vinci BV.

AI parking

a growing number of start-ups are developing tech-based solutions to make the parking process easier and more efficient

Time wasted trying to park in cities is one of the most notable pain points for car owners and fleet managers.

In response, a growing number of start-ups are developing tech-based solutions to make the parking process easier and more efficient. ParkHere develops self-powered sensors and software for vehicle detection to better control parked vehicles and moving traffic, while Bliq helps drivers find parking with predictive and real-time availability information.

Evopark offers cashless parking in garages across Germany and its core product is the SaaS solution easyCONTRACT which offers many features from the registration to the accounting of long-term parkers.

Cleverciti’s high precision overhead sensors for on-street and outdoor parking provide real-time parking data to cities, parking operators and drivers via apps and visual guidance systems, while French company Zenpark partners with real estate players to convert private car parks into public ones. A recent fundraising will enable the company to accelerate its international expansion.

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