Elite French Auto Tech Companies Tour U.S., Eye CES

Unfortunately, the automotive world does not always beat a path to the doors of startups with brilliant connectivity and autonomous tech. And sometimes automakers and Tier 1 suppliers miss some great companies by looking only in Silicon Valley, Israel’s Silicon Wadi or China.

Recognizing how difficult it is for startups to get noticed, and how time-consuming it is for OEMs to sort  the wheat from the chaff in the automotive tech world, France has been delivering its vetted, best-of-the-best startups to North America’s doorstep for seven years. It takes them on a 2-week whirlwind tour of the Detroit/Ann Arbor area and Silicon Valley where they pitch dozens of automakers, suppliers and influencers. Since the pandemic, the pitches have been done virtually.

The visits are part of Ubimobility, a 9-month development program combined with a 2-week immersion in key automotive and tech ecosystems in the U.S. and Canada. The applicants are specifically selected to be suited to the U.S. and Canadian markets.

This year’s startups are selected from a group of finalists chosen by jurors from Magna International, FCA Group, Ford, the University of Michigan, NVIDIA, Boston Consulting Group, Qualcomm, Valeo North America, and Wards Intelligence.

“Our laureates’ pitches on their innovative solutions were received with great interest from North America’s biggest automotive players. It has been a pleasure to support our nominees and witness their first steps towards strategic partnerships that will answer the future mobility challenges,” says Simon Lelièvre – Head of Transportation at Ubimobility.

If you didn’t have a chance to Zoom with these companies when they toured last month, you can still meet them in person Jan. 5-8 at the Pavilion France Automobile at CES in Las Vegas. The finalists making their pitches to OEMs and suppliers offer a wide variety of creative and relevant mobility technologies:

Airudit www.Airudit.com “Empowering your speech” is what Airudit is all about, says Olivier Raffard, sales director. A startup based in Paris and Bordeaux, it specializes in the design of Human Systems interfaces driven by voice. It was created in 2013 and develops and markets proprietary technologies for the global understanding of human natural language. AIRUDIT is unique because it is able to master the entire processing chain, which goes from the oral expression of a speaker to the response provided by the machine in the context of a Human Systems relationship in a complex environment, while interacting with information systems to ensure actions and access to the right information. The dedicated technology for the automotive industry is called VECTAI.

ClearDrop Technology www.cleardrop.tech “Using acoustics, we can make any kind of liquid fall right off, fast, from a glass surface,” says Nikos Christopoulos, founder and CEO. Sensors and cameras that are wet or coated with frost can disable ADAS systems. ClearDrop is a startup specializing in acoustics and fluid mechanics. The patented technology uses surface acoustic waves to displace liquids and remove frost instantaneously. Potential applications include:

  • Cleaning optical devices in automotive (such as ADAS sensors and cameras)
  • Improving
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