News & Opinions

Q&A with David McShane, EVP of Corporate Partnerships

We sit down with our new Executive Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Dave McShane.

Why did you join Autotech?

Dave: It was an easy decision. I am passionate about the commercialization of the next generation of technologies and companies that will reshape mobility. Autotech is uniquely positioned to grow new companies and ideas with the advice of its corporate partners. This provides the best pathway for success connecting the startup and transportation industry. I am delighted to be part of this team.

What mobility trends or innovations should we look out for in 2020?

Dave: Clearly there is momentum in the mobility market shift towards electrification which will continue to gather pace however the shift toward BEV will ultimately be paced by the availability of charging infrastructure. Autotech invested in Volta which I believe is a better business model to provide the necessary charging installations that will make this shift a reality. In addition, competition for the pace of development has never been keener.

The rise of digitization across the full development cycle looks to shorten the time to market. As transportation systems become ever more complex, the role of the high fidelity digital twin has never been more important especially in vehicle calibration and verification to help OEMs reduce development costs and speed to market. AI can help in this process as well as in manufacturing quality augmenting human inspection with automated systems that can identify defects early in high-value parts (such as stamping or exterior finish). Autotech invested in Cogniac AI to aid vision systems detect production defects and help manufacturing teams adjust processes to increase yields and reduce inspection times.

In all mobility, safety is paramount and the industry is driving towards zero accidents. Sensors such as cameras, radar, and lidar will become standard helping to detect the world around the vehicle and assist the driver in avoiding collisions. To make this affordable (both from a cost and power budget perspective) edge computing techniques using highly efficient algorithms will be necessary to process large amounts of data without having to employ high-performance processors (such as GPUs). In addition, added requirements in driver monitoring systems (DMS) to assess the attentiveness and condition of the driver put additional computing requirements on the vehicle system. Companies like Deepscale and Xnor.ai are working towards highly efficient techniques that make this possible.

The sharing economy for mobility gives rise to many different ownership and service models that describe new ways for people to travel from first mile/last mile micromobilty to commuter travel solutions. New efficient mobility “marketplace” business models will continue to develop. These businesses have the potential to grow extremely rapidly and become very large. Autotech has identified (and invested in) Swvl and Drover as examples of business models that will herald a change of how we travel in our daily lives.

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