The national railways (NS) and car owners bond ANWB went looking for the best smart mobility solutions last week. Eleven startups were selected out of 140 applicants to pitch in front of CEO’s Roger van Boxtel and Frits van Bruggen. This is how they want to enhance the commuter’s life.
The Netherlands is a busy little country, counting 8 million (registered) cars. Over a million passengers travel by train on a daily basis. In a slowly improving economy we are faced with longer traffic jams and more disruptions on the railroad each year.
The need to travel sustainable is therefore high on the agenda of practically everyone in The Netherlands. One only needs to check Twitter to see that everyone has an opinion about the NS. The railway company therefore recently set up an investment fund of 5 million euro for smart mobility startups.
Incubators YES!Delft and UtrechtInc co-hosted the Smart Mobility Pitch Event on February 18 to find the best smart mobility entrepreneurs. “We are ready for innovation”, Van Boxtel declared. “The future of mobility asks for smart solutions.” – the best ones are invited for lunch with both CEO’s.
The jury unanimously chose Predict.io as the overall winner. The company turns smartphones into sensors to provide real-time travel predictions, most importantly: gentle reminders for travelers to check out their public transport cards. Probably the number one hassle of travelers.
The ten runner-up finalists however also promise to tackle travel hassles.
Independent traveling for everyone
A lot of people have problems with the use of public transport, because they are physically or mentally limited. GoOV wants to help them to travel independent with a travel plan, app and help line.
Never lose your bike again
IoT-startup Bicylcle Localisation wants to make all 20 million Dutch bicycles smart by connecting them to the internet. This way they can always tell the owners where they are.
A personal, self-flying aircraft
Together with the European Space Agency, Avy is developing ‘the world’s first’ electrical drone for the use of personal transportation. It flies autonomous, has two seats and can vertically take off & land from any flat surface.
eBike Network wants to build a network of electric bikes available for public transport. Download the app, reserve a bike, open the electronic lock with the code provided and off you go.
Solving problems on the railroads before they exist
Semiotic Labs offers a decision support tool for maintenance professionals, such as ProRail. The company monitors the health of industrial equipment and provides realtime predictions about when and why it fails.
Tesla on two wheels
Bolt Mobility develops a ‘Tesla on two wheels’ electric scooter with apps. Using lightweight aerospace composites, the machine must accelerate from 0 to 45km/h in 3,9 seconds. The battery promises to fuel up to 150 kilometers on a single charge.
Communicating with travelers
inBeacon makes it possible to create a contextually aware environment communicates with the traveler in a hyper-targeted way using beacons. Travelers can for example be informed if they are on the wrong platform or weather a train is late.
Travel data in the cloud
Monotch integrates mobility data worldwide and facilitates data providers and solution integrators with a cloud platform where relevant data sources and API’s are aggregated and integrated in one frontend API. This way information to travelers must always be up to date.
‘Street View’ on tracks
Geckomatics wants to help businesses like NS to gain insights in public space assets with a mobile mapping solution. With customized tools and software companies can produce georeferenced images for remote visual inspection, for example of the tracks.
The comfort of a working bike
Swapfiets offers a Bike As A Service. By creating an exchangeable product the customer is always assured of a working bike. For a monthly subscription fee a broken bike is exchanged for a new one.
Image credits: YES!Delft – Smart Mobility Lab Pitch Event (foto: Tycho Müller | Tycho’s Eye Photography)