Startups give glimpse at future of mobility during Techstars Mobility Demo Day event in Detroit

Posted at 8:40 AM, Sep 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 12:02:17-04

What does the future of mobility look like? If you asked the minds behind the startups that presented at the 2016 Techstars Mobility Demo Day event Thursday in Detroit, you'd get a pretty good idea. 

Hundreds of people came together at the Detroit Opera House to hear from a dozen startups from around the world that have their eye on the transportation systems of the future.

The group was the latest class to emerge from Techstars Mobility, a startup accelerator in downtown Detroit.

The program’s class of 2016 — after a three month journey of growing their business and making connections -- put their tech in the spotlight during the event.

From companies like Spatial that want to help anyone travel like a local with a platform that uses artificial intelligence to answer region specific questions -- to Acerta, a machine learning system that detects problems with vehicles in real time, all of the startups were impressive covering a wide range of tech topics.

A few, like HAAS Alert, even got a partnership with Ford. One of their goals: notifying drivers when an emergency vehicle is approaching.

"We want to be the vehicle-to-vehicle mobile platform that’s delivering all driver notifications for autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles anything that is coming on the road with smart city grids, we’re the company to do it over mobile," said Cory Hohs, founder of HAAS Alert. 

HAAS Alert plans on launching a smart city initiative in Detroit.

Aside from bringing creative minds to the city and connecting them with powerful resources, the positive force behind Techstars Mobility also helps to solidify talent here in Detroit. 

Mapbox, for instance, a mapping platform for developers and a supporter of Techstars, just opened an office in Detroit. 

"There’s an incredible amount of energy here, this is where innovation is happening," said Jeremy Stratman of Mapbox. "It’s not just the Big Three here in Detroit, there’s the entire ecosystem around them trying to figure out what’s the future of mobility and that is very exciting to us, that’s very much in line with our vision of helping to change how people get around this world."

Check out the Techstars Mobility class of 2016 below: