5 Corporate Innovation Partnerships from Automotive

From sourcing to PoCs, pilots, and impact.

The technological revolution shows an open throttle, and the automotive industry is under a constant renewal. From electric vehicles to autonomous driving, and the digital transformation of manufacturing, carmakers are hungry for innovation.

However, agility and bold technological moves are not something corporations are known for. That’s why the industry leaders need startups to fuel their need for new technologies. On the other side of the coin, startups have a lot to gain from the experience and resources of the larger players. Innovation partnerships are a win-win situation.

We listed 5 examples of high impact collaborations between car manufacturers and startups. - Showing you the possible outcomes of corporate/startup partnering.

1. Hyundai CRADLE & Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies

Hyundai CRADLE Partners with Hydrogeniuos LOHC Technologies to develop a sustainable hydrogen distribution solution.

The large quantity transportation and delivery of hydrogen is one of the biggest challenges in Hyundai motor group’s radar. Hyundai CRADLE, the corporation’s venturing unit, leverages their partnership with Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies to find sustainable, and cost-efficient transportation solutions for hydrogen.

LOHC technology from the German based startup uses carrier oil to allow for hydrogen to be stored without pressure, allowing it to be transported at ambient surroundings with high densities. The efficient transport of hydrogen will enable the distribution on a global scale both sustainably, and at a low cost.

At the moment, the companies are exploring opportunities for joint ventures, some of which might include pushing the technology as the answer to hydrogen logistics challenges in Korea and Germany, or venturing into entirely original fields of applications for LOHC.

2. Mercedes-Benz & Nexmachina

Mercedes-Benz partners with Nexmachina to step up digital transformation in manufacturing.

Mercedes-Benz among many other automotive manufacturers is interested in the digital transformation of their factories. A recent joint effort between the facility management of Mercedes-Benz Espana, and Nexmachina brought smart advancements on to the monitoring  of fluid meters across two of Mercedes’ assembly plants.

The Spanish startup Nexmachina is an IoT technology provider specializing in wireless technologies. With their LORA WAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) technology, machines and objects are able to transmit small messages efficiently both in and outside of the facilities.

The collaboration between the partners was a part of proving the companies’ hypothesis that IoT technology, especially LORA WAN can, provide an stable and cost-efficient solution to digitize fluid meters and other assets in the production plants.

3. Volkswagen & e.GO Mobile AG

Volkswagen partners with e.GO Mobile to push small cost-efficient electric vehicles to the european market.

Volkswagen is investing more than €30bn through 2023 in emobility alone. Electric vehicles are expected to make for one quarter of their catalogue by 2025, the company has stated. Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) platform has been widely used across car models across their brands. Now the company opens their modular platform for other manufacturers to explore.

The collaboration between Volkswagen and the German startup e.GO Mobile enables a production of smaller, robust, cost efficient electric vehicles for their european market. By opening up their MEB to third party manufacturers, Volkswagen also showcases their adaptability across the whole automotive industry.

With the new partnership e.GO Mobile can now cost-efficiently produce small-series vehicles like the ID. BUGGY. -Making CO2-neutral individual mobility accessible to a whole new range of customers.

4. Motherson & UBQ Materials

Motherson partners with UBQ Materials to produce carbon neutral interiors for automotive.

Motherson’s role as one of the largest manufacturers of automotive components globally explains their interests in digitalization of production and sustainability. In an attempt to minimize waste and make their products more sustainable, the company partners up with UBQ Materials.

The Israeli based UBQ Materials converts non recyclable household waste into a polymer compound that can be used for various everyday products.

Currently the teams are evaluating the fit of this material for the automotive industry. They are testing whether the compound is odor free and suitable for its intended use. Next steps in the collaboration include moving to producing exterior for automotives and pushing the compound to serial production.

5. DXC Technology & Foretellix

DXC technology partners with Foretellix to verify the safety of autonomous driving.

As a leading enabler of autonomous driving research and development DXC Technology collects, stores, and manages test data from around the globe. In their new collaboration with Foretellix the company integrated a scalable scenario management solution to reduce the cost and time of autonomous vehicle development.

The Israeli based startup Foretellix has created a verification platform to allow rigorous testing and monitoring on millions of autonomous driving scenarios.

The joint venture will bring speed and efficiency to autonomous vehicle testing under the “Million-mile Challenge” where cars are to prove their functionality of advanced autonomous driving capabilities and features during millions of test miles. - While adhering to the latest reliability and safety standards.

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