“All kinds of automation are great, BUT a city is about satisfying the quality of life of its residents before everything. Integrated dashboards with AI and robots, and tech-supported decision makings are a life-long technical dream of all generations of urban professionals, engineers, architects, but most of the people would agree that there would not be worse governance than the one of scientist government. For the simple reason that humans are sensitive entities more than rational ones, highly unpredictable and so far never completely understood by any science.”
Grubhub is piloting the use of delivery robots, manufactured by self-driving startup Yandex, at Ohio State University this academic year. The convergence of autonomous vehicle technology and robotics is bringing a future that we only saw in movies to us today, and rapidly. However, the accuracy of autonomous technology aspect has always been the stumbling block that has prevented widescale deployment in the case of delivery. This LA startup has found the answer. Coco is a last-mile delivery service that uses remote human-piloted robots to power deliveries. The technology is versatile enough to be used by restaurants, groceries, convenience stores, and pharmacies; basically, all the essentials that you have become accustomed to ordering on-demand. These industries have been forced to adopt technology in a rapid fashion to address the pandemic and Coco makes local delivery faster, smarter, and more cost-efficient. In fact, Coco estimates that it is able to save up to 30% on delivery times while reducing the environmental footprint. The company, founded in 2019, already has 50+ customers using the technology and has scaled the team to 120. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Zach Rash to learn more about the state and future of the delivery market, the inspiration for the business, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Sam Altman, Silicon Valley Bank, and Founders Fund.
Brands and marketers are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach target audiences. The convergence of technology and mobility solutions like rideshares has enabled a new wave of ad units. For example, taxis for several years have had ads in cars and on top of vehicles, which now have become digitized from analog. This LA startup takes it one step further. Adway is a digital advertising platform that uses proprietary projection technology to display ads on the side of any vehicle without any major modifications. The projectors are affixed to a vehicle’s mirrors and ad buyers can purchase slots based on geography in real-time, enabling sophisticated targeting. The platform also tracks the number of cellular devices in and around the vehicles through Bluetooth to provide measured reach metrics. Adway drivers are given a share of the advertising revenue based on the number of hours they drive. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO Sasha Krylov to learn more about how the idea for the business came to fruition, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Upfront Ventures, Revel Partners, Watertower Ventures, and Inflection Capital.
So much attention has been paid to improving urban mobility, starting with ride-sharing, shared scooters, bicycle lines but not much has been paid to improving the accessibility and availability of parking. Metropolis is on a mission to change that. It’s a sophisticated parking management system, powered by computer vision, that leverages technology to improve the experience of parking for both consumers and parking garage operators. With a single app, consumers can find convenient parking options and pay without having to worry about availability, payments, tips, and the like. For operators, in addition to cost savings, they are finally able to gain valuable data on capacity, utilization, and customer behavior while having their locations staffed by dedicated teams from Metropolis. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO, Cofounder, and repeat founder Alex Israel (ParkMe acquire by Inrix) to learn more about the state of the parking industry, the company’s expansion plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Starwood Capital, 01 Advisors (Dick Costolo and Adam Bain), Dragoneer, Slow Ventures, Zigg Capital, DivcoWest, RXR (Scott Rechler), Dan Doctoroff, Baron Davis, Halogen Ventures (Jesse Draper), and Gideon Hixon.
In 2010, there were 17,000 electric cars on the road. By the end of the decade there were over 7.2M. This increase has been largely attributable to improvements in affordability and accessibility. Culver City-based Envoy is bringing electric cars to residential buildings, offices, hotels with its electric vehicle sharing service. Largely focused on the residential housing market, the company partners with building owners to offer access to its fleet of electric cars as a basic building amenity like a pool or clubhouse. LA TechWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Aric Ohana to learn more about Envoy’s focus on make mobility an amenity, the company’s future plans, and recent round of funding from investors that include Shell Ventures, Building Ventures, DENSO, Goodyear Ventures, GroundBreak Ventures, and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Impact Fund.
California recently passed regulations requiring that over 50% of all commercial trucks sold in the state must be zero-emissions by 2035 and other states have signed a memorandum to phase out all diesel-burning medium- to heavy-duty truck and bus sales by 2050. These new laws signal promise and opportunity for companies like Xos Trucks, the LA company building state-of-the-art OEM electric trucks that forge together battery packs, chassis, and software. Xos Trucks’ flagship X-Platform 1 is fully electric and compatible with a variety of medium-duty bodies, wheelbases, and range requirements up to 200 miles. The X-Platform 1 is often customized into Class 6 medium-duty bodies that fulfill short-range deliveries, which have been used by UPS. Xos Trucks is also developing the ET-One, a Class 8 heavy-duty truck that can carry 80,000 pounds and can travel 150 miles per charge. 65% percent of trucks on the road travel less than 150 miles per day and Xos is addressing this market with its solutions to make last-mile delivery sustainable and efficient. COO and Cofounder Giordano Sordoni shares more about Xos Trucks is disrupting an $8T industry from the ground up with saavy engineering and software.
Anyone who has ever been in charge of organizing a group trip is familiar with all the planning that goes into it, and executing the most basic plans like how to get from point A to point B can kickstart a flurry of activity that includes hours of Google searches and phone calls with various vendors. Swoop makes it as easy as ordering an Uber with its group transportation booking platform that digitizes mom-and-pop group chauffeur operators. CRO and Cofounder Peter Evenson shares more insight on how Swoop is bringing SaaS to a historical paper and pencil industry, the company’s future plans, and recent funding round.
Street art has always been a part of cities, but social media has given street art, specifically murals, a completely new dimension of exposure. Downtown districts, brands, and property owners all understand the powerful link between murals and foot traffic. Beautify has built a three-sided marketplace that connects property owners, brands, and artists. Beautify handles […]
Autonomous eVTOLs (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing systems) are coming sooner than you think.
Do you remember running to try and catch the school bus? Or if you’re a parent, especially a working parent, the morning chaos that comes with ensuring your child gets on the school bus on time and arranging carpools for afterschool activities? Well, all this angst and planning can be easily avoided by using HopSkipDrive, […]
Like the city that hosts the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) there is a lot of noise on the show floor. Sifting through the lights, sounds, and people can be an arduous task even for the most experienced CES attendees. Hidden past the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) is a walkway to a tech […]