Presenting Cohort 7, Summer 2017

We guess the old adage “Time flies when you’re having fun” is true, because although it seems like just last week we announced Cohort 6, it wasn’t. Three months have passed and we’ve officially welcomed two new companies into our program.

On July 24th, Tyfone and SIMPLENIGHT joined us at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator, making up our seventh cohort since launching last year. With one company working to increase data security, and the other focused on personalizing consumer experiences, these startups are working on issues that directly impact our customers today.

In the hyper-connected digital world of cloud, mobility, and IoT (Internet of Things), legacy security methods have proven to be ineffective because they trade-off convenience for security and result in a fragmented array of solutions. This ineffectiveness and fragmentation affects ease of access to everything from financial services to connected cars.

Enter Tyfone, with the goal of bringing digital security that is convenient and converged. By inventing energy efficient technologies, Tyfone brings the security of chips in your credit card to the convenience of using your mobile phones through its patented SideCard™ product. SideCard packs security, radio and battery technologies in an easy to carry ultra-thin credit card form factor that otherwise would be 25 times larger. With a simple push of a button it delivers the highest level of security sufficient for military grade applications without the need for complex passwords and cumbersome enrollment.

Tyfone currently has 140 issued and pending patents, and serves key industries with converged omnichannel security needs such as financial services, critical infrastructure, transportation, and the US Government.

As cars become increasingly connected, shared and autonomous, the transportation industry will become the hub for enabling a variety of payment and commerce services. Such services require both security and convenience – not trading-off one for the other. When it comes to connected cars, Jaguar Land Rover is always looking for new ways to increase security and convenience for its customers. Tyfone’s solution provides opportunities to explore secure access to connected cars, as well as secure enrollment into apps for transportation services. By collaborating with Tyfone, Jaguar Land Rover hopes to provide customers with a wide range of personalized transportation services that are secure, “push button,” and convenient.

SIMPLENIGHT is a Business to Business (B2B) Global Distribution Platform for In-Destination Experiences such as tours, activities, dining, shows, events, attractions, transportation, nightlife, hotels, and more. SIMPLENIGHT enables companies to sell all of the things to do in a city to their customers in addition to their own core offering, while sharing in the revenue.

SIMPLENIGHT currently offers consumers over 500,000 bookable products in more than 1,300 destinations spanning over 150 countries.

Jaguar Land Rover customers want customized experiences – and we want to deliver them. Partnering with SIMPLENIGHT allows us to explore giving our customers the ability to search and purchase personalized experiential inventory in hundreds of cities, and across numerous verticals worldwide, from the comfort of their vehicle.

Our customers are our number one priority at Jaguar Land Rover. Accordingly, we’re excited to work with Tyfone and SIMPLENIGHT over the next six months to find new and better ways to serve them. We can’t wait to see what’s ahead!

If you’re part of a startup working on something innovative in the mobility space and would like to learn more about the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator program, click here

Say Hello to Our Winter 2017 Cohort

The Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator welcomes three new companies into its Winter 2017 Cohort, marking the one-year anniversary of the program’s launch.

HAAS Alert, Mycroft, and OpConnect are the latest three startups to join the incubator, covering the fields of emergency response technology, artificial intelligence, and the electric vehicle ecosystem. Together they further diversify and strengthen the portfolio of ventures the program has supported.

HAAS Alert is a mobile platform for connected cars, autonomous vehicles, and smart cities, that allows first responders and other city services to send notifications to nearby drivers about road and roadside safety issues such as accidents, emergency vehicles in transit, or first responders personnel on scene. The technology can also reroute traffic accordingly via navigation apps.

Increasing driver and passenger safety is one of Jaguar Land Rover highest priorities. Working with HAAS Alert we have the opportunity to explore potential links between connected cars and safety, and investigate news ways of keeping drivers better informed when on the road.

Mycroft is Artificial Intelligence hardware that uses software to recognize natural language and respond to voice commands. Whether in the home, office, or garage, Mycroft can adjust your thermostat, turn on your lights, start your coffee, find answers on the Internet, play your favorite movie, or launch your favorite playlist. And Mycroft was built with open source software, which means that programmers have the ability to constantly contribute new features and modules and make it more capable, more useful, and more fun to use, all the time.

From reducing driver distractions, to increasing convenience and usability, Jaguar Land Rover is eager to team up with Mycroft and explore the many ways voice activation for the car can enhance our customers’ experience.

OpConnect sells and operates Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations — a vital component of the electric vehicle ecosystem. Customers can use the website to manage their accounts, locate the closest EV charging station, and remotely check the status of their battery recharging. OpConnect charging stations can also be used to share data and manage fleet operations.

Both Jaguar Land Rover and OpConnect are committed to reducing gas emissions by encouraging mass adoption of electric vehicle technology.  With the recent announcement of the Jaguar I-PACE, Jaguar Land Rover has shown that it remains on the edge of innovating in this space, and we look forward to partnering with OpConnect to explore future opportunities.

Here at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator, we continue to grow our stellar community of innovators who are pushing the boundaries of mobility and connected cars. With the addition of HAAS Alert, Mycroft, and Opconnect, it’s looking like our second year will be off to an incredible start – and we couldn’t be more excited.

Applications for our next cohort are open through tomorrow, Friday, February 10th. If you’re part of a startup working in automotive tech, the mobility space, or connected car technologies, and would like to learn more about the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator program, simply click here.

Company Showcase: SICdrone, Spring 2016 Cohort

In order to shed a bit more light on what we’re doing here at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator – and who we’re doing it with – we will be shining a spotlight on one of our startups every few weeks.

Since Winter Cohort 2016 has ended and we’re headlong into Summer Cohort 2016, we decided to start right in the middle with SICdrone, one of the three companies making up our Spring Cohort 2016.

SICdrone – Spring Cohort 2016

Drones, drones, drones.

Amateur photographers and flight enthusiasts can’t seem to get enough of the latest products to hit the shelves, but drones have immense potential for uses beyond flying for hobby. From search and rescue to agriculture to transportation, drones could have a game-changing impact on a vast array of industries and social challenges.

Drones are long overdue for a drastic reboot, necessary to ensure their capabilities match their far-reaching possibilities. SICdrone is one startup that’s reimagining the design, performance, and reach of the multi-copter drone. Joining the Spring 2016 Cohort at the Incubator, the startup’s team of aerospace engineers, product developers, and engineers, is creating and manufacturing a series of hover-type drones that fly faster, farther, and with greater capability than anything like it on the market.

Jaguar Land Rover is interested in exploring potential use cases of drones in a vehicle context. We anticipate these machines could potentially provide our customers with more accurate real-time traffic information, expanded views of upcoming terrain, and a multitude of other potential applications that provide drivers with unique “birds-eye” insights.

We believe that SICdrone, with its innovative product design, is well-positioned to experiment in this space with us to create a better experience for our customers. We’re excited to work with them to explore their products’ potential for the automotive industry.

“Working in the Jaguar Land Rover Incubator has been great in the fact that it has really pushed us to explore more deeply the idea of pairing drones with ground-based vehicles. The partnership has opened up avenues that would have taken years and compressed the time-frame down to a few months. It’s been awesome to see the benefits drones can provide to off-road vehicle drivers performing scan-terrain-ahead type tasks and also for first responders.  For instance, we are looking into a drone that deploys from a fire chief’s vehicle with a camera sensor package that helps to keep firefighters safe by quickly scanning a burning building for hot spots prior to entry.” – Dan Bosch, CEO & Founder, SICdrone

 

 

 

 

Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator: First Class

The phenomenon of big brands working increasingly with smaller companies is a trend that’s not slowing down.

In fact, we can no longer call it a trend, or a thing that companies do to hang with the cool kids — but a survival mechanism. Corporations are fast learning that at this rate of disruption, they can no longer afford NOT to entrench ourselves with those who do disruption best: startups.

As Director of Future Technology for Jaguar Land Rover, one of my key focus areas is startup collaboration as a necessary way to bring the future into the present. At CES in January I presented not simply our own latest open-source technology (although of course that was present) but the first companies we would be working with as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s new 10-year Tech Incubator.

The Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator will encourage, promote, and support early-stage technology (mostly software, but not as a rule) whose products can be integrated into a car environment – and potentially instigate the next wave of connected car technology.

On stage, I introduced our three inaugural incubator companies, including BabyBit – a smart baby monitoring system that one wouldn’t immediately place into the automotive category. The Tech Incubator, and more broadly Jaguar Land Rover, is exploring and breaking the traditional boundaries of what a connected car can do. BabyBit is a prime example, with a potential car integration meaning real-time data around caretaker handoffs and the health of safety of one’s child.

We announced Urban.Systems, a new company that provides integrated, open infrastructure support for electric vehicles. This company also sits outside the norm of a singular automotive software product, and looks at the entire system around the future of electric vehicles – what infrastructure needs to be in place for any product to work? What types of public-private partnerships must be instituted, or management enabled? It is this holistic thinking that brands must be thinking about ahead of the curve, in tandem with the technologies they are building.

And finally, we introduced ParkiT – a company that does fall into the automotive category, and which provides camera-based, real-time parking data. The ingenious technology was developed by a team of Rice University grads – talent which may have been overlooked in a traditional corporate paradigm.

In the next few weeks we will be announcing the second round of companies joining the incubator.

We are lucky to help these company grow through our six-month immersive program in our new Portland, Oregon, state-of-the-art facility, where they’ll receive comprehensive support – including financing, space, and mentorship – along with Jaguar Land Rover engineering, UX, and design talent. In turn, we receive access to a diverse set of technologies making a better experience for our customers.

Production cycles have their limitations. There’s only so much a team, or a division, or a company can do in a specific period of time. Not only can startups increase the speed of learning by exponential margins, but they can offer the kind of wild creativity and diversity in thought that allows for the big breakthroughs.

Creativity amounts to nothing, though, without the health of the company propagating it. In return for fresh thinking and new innovations, a large brand can support the health and growth of small companies. With a program like an incubator, startups can obtain financing, access to talent and networks, and other resources and support they might lack without the backing, collaboration, and association of a larger institution.

It’s win-win when big brands and startups work together – and this collaborative mindset is not just exciting, it is vital to our company’s future.

 

Matt Jones
Director of Future Technology