Transport of the future: Auto tech startups

According to McKinsey, new technologies will help automakers increase their revenues by 30%, expanding, therefore, the volume of the car market by $1.5 tln. Autotech startups are heavily investing in the development of new solutions, creating their projects to merge science and technology. Let’s take a look at four companies that offer to reform the current traditional automotive industry.


Country: Russia, Switzerland

Year of foundation: 2012 (2014 – move to Switzerland)

Employees: up to 500

What does the company do?

WayRay is developing two gadgets and a software platform. The primary device – Navion – is a navigation system for drivers, projecting essential data on the windshield of the car. The device consists of a laser projector and a visor with a built-in holographic optical element. It’s located on the dashboard of the vehicle and includes a Full-HD camera, 4G and GPS. There is an app and navigation software explicitly developed for Navion.

The second system – Element – allows you to collect telemetry data on the state of the car and driver behavior. So, Element gathers information about the speed of the vehicle, fuel consumption, and the condition of the car itself (data is transmitted over the vehicle’s OBD-II port). The main idea is to collect data in a single info hub accessed through an app on the driver’s phone.

True AR SDK is a third-party software platform that allows you to build AR applications for Navion.

Why should businesses pay attention to this project?

HUD systems (Head-Up Display), projecting a variety of information on the windshield, are becoming more and more common among the general public. These devices can be installed in any car, regardless of the model and manufacture year. Drivers can track the running mode as well as the amount of fuel consumed and saved.

The development of WayRay improves the quality of human-machine interaction by composing a large amount of various data and transferring it to mobile apps. In general, we are talking about significantly enhancing the driving experience.

Integrated Roadways

Country: The USA

Year of foundation: 2007

Employees: up to 50

What does the company do?

Integrated Roadways is a startup that has developed the concept of a smart road. Company’s specialists have created and brought smart concrete slabs to the market, allowing the road infrastructure to track both the overall traffic and individual car data. Moreover, smart roads built from component concrete slabs with automatic filling inside can also fix accidents. So, if a severe accident occurs, the operator’s attention will be automatically drawn to the incident, therefore speeding up the time of specialized services arrival.

Plates contain optical fiber, allowing for the future network backbones.

Why should businesses pay attention to this project?

Smart roads are an equally important element of future transport as autopilot vehicles or other technologies. The infrastructure provides ample business opportunities, including personalized advertising or IoT services.


Country: Russia

Year of foundation: 2017

Employees: up to 50

What does the company do?

BaseTracK is developing technology to control and autonomously move vehicles on any surface – ground, water, air, you name it. Among the classic ground vehicles, their solution can be integrated into cars, trucks, combines, tanks, tractors, copters, etc.

Their main achievement is the reliable object positioning system with no optical sensors, which allows any given vehicle to move along the set path in all weather conditions and the absence of road markings. To set a path (BaseTracK calls it a virtual rail), the company processes regional geodetic data and encodes the virtual rail into the memory of the vehicle or a drone.

To drive this vehicle, the system also collects a large amount of telemetry data, including data about the driver, their concentration on the road, the state of the car and its elements, service, etc.

Hardware and software systems being introduced into the vehicle are small and fit into the armrest. An important note – it is hidden from the plain sight, helping you to protect the data stored in the device’s memory from malicious attacks.

Why should businesses pay attention to this project?

BaseTracK technology is ready for use since it operates within the framework of the current legislative field of Russia and other countries. The system can work under any weather conditions, and its scope of application can vary from optimizing the work of large logistics companies to automating freight transport in an open pit or any other industrial enterprise.

Karamba Security

Country: Israel

Year of foundation: 2015

Employees: up to 50

What does the company do?

Karamba employees ensure smart car safety from intruders. The company is developing a protection system for a connected vehicle, which is especially important for corporate vehicles. Autonomous Security solution is installed in the electronic unit of the car to ensure that the settings set by the user remain unchanged.

The “information board” ensures the security of the electronic unit itself, the media system, the gateway, and other critical components that may be hacked.

Why should businesses pay attention to this project?

The modern car’s infrastructure is becoming more and more functional, yet manufacturers are far from taking full proper care of data. As a result, situations like Tesla smart key hack, done in just 2 seconds, become possible.

Karamba managed to get about $20 million invested by such significant venture capital funds as Paladin Capital Group, GlenRock, and Presidio Ventures.

There is no doubt that over time, the number of players in the automotive technology market will increase, and their proposed solutions will forever change the configuration of the automotive industry. However, the future is created now, and the companies presented above are directly involved in the process of developing hi-tech solutions in the automobile world. The business industry should take a closer look – maybe becoming a part of this future is already possible?

By Victor Lebedev
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