Between February 25-28, 13 European startups and SMEs took part in an internationalization mission on smart mobility in the San Francisco region. The 13 companies were selected after the Open Call 2 of the European project MobiGoIn-Action. They were accompanied by the 4 Clusters in charge of the project: Mov’eo, Torino Wireless, Media Evolution and bwcon. French Tech Hub (FTH) and Silicon Valley Forum (SVF) were responsible for the actual running of the activities and the management of the practical aspects (logistics, meals, etc.).
With the ambition to internationalize their activities in the American mobility market, the European entrepreneurs took part in a business-oriented mission during 4 days. Among the proposed activities: expert presentations, coaching session, exchanges with mentors, B2B sessions, pitch evening in front of investors and industrialists, site visits, etc.
THE PARTICIPATING COMPANIES
The 13 SME’s came from the countries Italy, France, Sweden, Germany and Ireland. During the mission in USA the companies had the opportunity to pitch their companies during a pitch night for companies/investors based in the USA. Here is a shorter brief about the selected companies.
CLEM specializes in electric car sharing, charging station management and car pooling. Leader in peri-urban and rural areas. https://www.clem-e.com/home
KNOT is a self-service scooter service that allows you to travel easily on the last mile. Managed from a mobile app. https://www.knotcity.com/fr/
KSH has developed a proximity detection system for two-wheeled motorcycle helmets and a medical identification system for accidents. https://www.kosmos-helmets.com/
MOBEELITY has developed an intermodal platform bringing together public and private means of transport to optimize daily travel. Uses technologies such as AI for a better user experience, geo-predictive algorithms and an intermodal algorithm. https://mobeelity.io/
UBITRANSPORT has developed smart transport systems for urban and suburban areas, as well as schools, outside major cities. They allow operators to manage their bus fleets and commutes to better understand the uses and optimize their networks. Travelers can benefit from the information in real time.
UCONEKT is a security company whose mission is to create a secure environment for those who expose their personal identity, providing access control, payment and personal identity services. It is meant to be used in the automotive sector with the uBolt. http://uconekt.com/
APPARKINGSPOT has developed a new concept for renting and sharing parking spaces between organizations, individuals and businesses. A kind of Airbnb for car parking, including sensor technology to monitor the use of garages. https://www.apparkingspot.com/?lang=en
COSMO CONNECTED has security solutions for 2-wheelers (all types) including brake lights connected to the external environment. A built-in fall detector alerts and automatically sends GPS coordinates to emergency services.
ENERGY ELEPHANT specializes in energy management for cities and offers a real-time fuel monitoring sensor incorporating AI for the automotive sector.
PARK SMART has created a street parking sensor that can indicate in real time the availability of parking lots in monitored areas, integrating video cameras, all from an app.
STANDARD DEVELOPMENT GMBH has created a sensor-based waste management system that automatically provides data on the fill level of garbage containers. The data is then processed in real-time to define the optimal lifting points and routes, and are then communicated to the collection trucks.
TOPP is a graphic design company that has developed Noodl, a platform for the iterative design of new products. Customers can prototype, test and develop interfering products with an application available for the automotive sector.
XMOTION has developed a system for monitoring the health status of vehicles. Using vehicle sensor data, driving behavioral analysis and other key contextual information, xMotion technology predicts the lifespan of vehicle components using a combination of algorithms and AIs.
AMONG THE PARTNERS WE MET IN SAN FRANCISCO
During the 4 days we had met plenty of partners, everything from investors, manufacturers, consultants, municipalities, large groups and startups who were sourced within the networks of French Tech Hub and Silicon Valley Forum. They have been selected according to the needs expressed by our European SMEs, while taking into account their respective sectors and degree of maturity.
The partners we met: Alliance Ventures, Autotech Ventures, AXA Lab, Cisco, Conduent, County of San Mateo, DAHER, Ford, Founders Space, French Tech Hub, Get-Next, GrowthX, Hyundai CRADLE, Icebreaker Ventures, Ivy Mobility, KVB Partners, Workshop BNP Paribas, LEGALSV, Off the Grid Ventures, Orsay Consulting, Parsons Corporation, Perkins + Will, Plug & Play, Ride, Ridecell, Samsung Electronics America, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Jose City, Silicon Valley Forum, TomTom, Top Funnel, Uber , Urban Radar, Valeo, Capital Ventures, Volta Industries, Wards Intelligence, Zipcar, Zoox.
MOBILITY IN SAN FRANCISCO
Over the last decade, the SF region has experienced significant growth. Since 2019, there has been an increase of +5,000 residents and +175,000 jobs, exceeding all expectations. The city now has 883,000 inhabitants and 720,000 jobs spread over an area of 49 square miles. These are historical records.
As a result, the city faces major transportation challenges, including increased demand for transportation, increased infrastructure needs, and especially increasing congestion, all in the context of a greater variety of available transportation options (bike sharing services, scooters and electric scooters, TNC like Uber and Lyft, etc.)
The city promotes sustainable modes of transportation such as public transit, cycling and walking. In order to achieve its climate change goals, and as part of its new Transit First Policy, SF will invest heavily in sustainable transport to make up 80% of all travels to Europe, horizon 2030.
A report published by the SFMTA on 28/01/2019 examines recent trends in the transportation sector to enable the city to better adapt to these changes.
KEY FINDINGS OF THE MISSION
- Public transport: slight increase
In recent years, the city has invested heavily in public transport: bus lines “Muni” which are faster and network better adapted to the demand, development of the ParaTransit network for the elderly and disabled, renovation of BART/Caltrain networks etc. As a result, the use of public transport has risen slightly (+5% compared to 2010), in contrast to the period 2000-2010 and especially the current national trend (which is experiencing an overall decline).
- Bikes: down
Decrease since 2015 (partly due to lower fuel prices). In 2019, large public investments are planned on infrastructure to reverse this trend.
- Cars: up
Even more present than before and congestion has increased. The total number of vehicles registered in the city increased by 6% (due to population growth and despite the fact that the registration/driver ratio is slightly down). But it is especially the road traffic entering the city that has increased by 27% and that explains the increased congestion. The report states that the Uber and Lyft account for 15% of all trips to SF (45,000 active drivers), about half of the total car increase (the other half is related to the increase in population and employment). The city is struggling to reduce the impact of cars. Although an interesting pull factor in and of itself, having an area such as Silicon Valley within the region’s limits does not help in this aspect.
- New forms of mobility (supported by the city)
The transportation options in SF have changed a lot in just a few years. New technology-based services have changed the transportation landscape and the role of the city in the regional economy. SF plays a leading role in the testing of these new mobility services that present both opportunities and challenges for a safe and efficient environment. Here are the forms of mobility supported primarily by the city:
– Free-riding electric bikes: growing. Notably with the record-breaking Ford GoBike in early 2019 and the Uber Jump which recently received official clearance to double its fleet.
– Free-sharing electric scooters: Bird and Lime had been banned from SF in June 2018 as a result of many controversies, and especially because they had not asked for the authorization of the municipality beforehand. The city then changed its mind by opening a call for applications to operate as part of a pilot program. To everyone’s surprise, two local startups, Skip and Scoot (625 scooters each), won the call in front of Uber, Bird, Lime and Lyft.
– Free-sharing vehicles: There are currently 202 authorized parking spaces for Getaround, Zipcar, Maven and U-Haul. On average 19 unique users each month.
– Free-scooters and electric scooters: One license holder, Scoot, which has a fleet of approximately 550 vehicles serving approximately 2,000 average trips on weekdays.
– Suburban shuttles: The city supports some employers who provide private shuttles for the transportation of employees living in SF and whose workplace is outside the city. But the failure of Chariot (Ford) in early 2019 illustrates the difficulty of making this type of shuttle today.