These 3 Auto Startups Are the Best of 2016
For its second-annual Top Ten Automotive Startups competition, the LA Auto Show’s AutoMobility LA—formerly the Connected Car Expo—today announced this year’s three finalists: Argus Cyber Security, EverCharge and PolySync.
Argus, an automotive cyber security company founded in 2013 and based in Tel Aviv, Israel, is focused on offering software solutions that shield cars, trucks and commercial vehicles from hacks and attacks. The company’s 24 pending patents aim to protect vehicles’ infotainment and telematics systems; in-vehicle networks; advanced driving assist, braking and door control systems; and aftermarket solutions for non-connected vehicles.
Argus estimates that there are already millions of connected vehicles on roads today. “With hundreds of millions of connected cars in use within a few short years, our vision is to have Argus protecting every connected car and commercial vehicle on the road,” says CEO Ofer Ben-Noon.
Argus has already raised $30 million in two fundraising rounds and has offices in Michigan, Silicon Valley, Tokyo and Stuttgart, Germany—a geographic testament to the company’s commitment to quickly become a key automotive supplier.
EverCharge aims to inspire more widespread electric vehicle adoption by bringing EV charging to the masses through innovative and cost-efficient solutions to multi-tenant buildings such as apartment complexes, condos and offices. According to CEO Jason Appelbaum, the startup has its eye beyond today’s EVs and its US-centric focus. “In particular we are looking towards [charging] autonomous EV fleets,” he told Fortune. “And while our technology is extremely useful stateside, internationally it’s necessary for the continued growth of the EV market, [so] we are keeping an open mind towards international expansion.”
In the already crowded space of autonomous vehicles and the systems used to power them, PolySync is a company providing a platform that enables OEMs and suppliers to test autonomous systems faster and more easily. “Our story has been incredible—a year ago, we were five employees working out of a garage in Idaho,” says PolySync CEO Josh Hartung. “Today we’re preparing to hire our 27th employee, the “garage” has moved to Portland, OR, and we just opened an office in Detroit.”
This fall, the young startup officially became an affiliate member of University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center in Ann Arbor. PolySync also just developed a hiring partnership with Udacity (an online platform founded by former head of Google X, Sebastian Thrun). “In the coming months, you’ll see announcements from us that make software development for the car more closely resemble software development for other industries like web or mobile,” Hartung promises.
AutoMobility LA will announce the No. 1 startup on November 16th. The winning company will have the chance to participate in the 2017 Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), a tech competition that takes place on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, where they will gain additional guidance and direction from the XTC team, sponsors and other participants.