Meet the UK’s most disruptive mobility companies
At Disruption Summit Europe on the 10th of September, D/SRUPTION will reveal the inaugural Disruption50 Index, a list of the most disruptive companies in the UK. The top 50 companies were chosen by a panel of expert judges, combined with the power of AI.
Here, we take a look at the five of the most disruptive mobility businesses in the UK, as profiled in the Disruption50 Index. What solutions are they building to enable smart, connected transportation?
Immense was founded in Milton Keynes in 2016. Through a cloud hosted, software as a service (SaaS) platform embedded with AI, the startup builds detailed simulations of people, places, and transportation systems. The models are carefully constructed at ‘city scale’, taking into account the various facets of urban transportation and the impact that changes could have on the surrounding environment. Immense’s simulations will provide vital information for infrastructures needed to support autonomous vehicles. The company works with transport authorities like Highways England, as well as companies and fleet managers.
ZapGo is another young company that was incorporated in 2013 in Oxford. Their goal is to develop the next generation of batteries to replace the lithium models used today. While lithium based batteries perform well, their safety and sustainability credentials leave much to be desired. ZapGo’s alternative is to improve the performance of super capacitors so they act like batteries, but without using flammable and environmentally harmful materials like lithium and cobalt.
Instead, their power solution combines nanocarbons and ionic electrolytes so that the cells, once used, can be recycled. Initially, ZapGo focused on the energy grid. Now, the company hopes to use its technology to charge electric vehicles in the same time as a conventional fuel pump. Given the concerns over EV charging rates, this is an important step towards electric mobility.
Car ownership is dwindling, and when you consider the sheer effort that comes with purchase and maintenance, it’s not hard to see why. Drover is a subscription service for new and used cars that takes away the hassle of finance, tax, insurance, MOTs, breakdown cover, and servicing. Users can hire a car from one to 12 months, applying smart filters to find the best option for them. Drover then delivers the car, or arranges a pick up location and time.
Drover also offers a B2B service in which ‘fleet partners’ (think car dealerships, car rental companies, or leasing firms) supply more cars to the Drover inventory through their garages and showrooms, and handle the pick up and delivery. Drover takes care of the customer interface, giving these businesses a digital platform with which to attract more customers.
Driving in a new area can be challenging. Not only does the driver have to adapt to unfamiliar roads, but there’s the last mile to contend with. Even when drivers do know their way around, sheer demand has turned finding a car space into a game of parking ticket roulette. AppyParking was founded in 2013 to ‘digitise the kerb’ and ‘make parking forgettable’. Using big data and the insights of partner organisations such as local councils, the startup provides a free consumer app and a paid-for enterprise app that lists parking options in major UK cities. AppyParking’s enterprise app is used by fleet managers, as well as businesses like Pimlico Plumbing that rely on employees being able to find suitable parking spaces without getting a ticket.
5) Altitude Angel
Although not a traditional, A-to-B mobility solution, drone technology is clearing the runway for advanced transport infrastructures. Altitude Angel is an aviation technology company based in Reading that pools together real time data about airspaces, environments and regulations. This information is accessed via a cloud platform by drone operators, manufacturers and software developers, helping them to make sure that drones are integrated in the safest and most impactful way. Autonomous mobility, whether on the roads or in the sky, remains a regulatory headache. Hopefully, the work of big data aggregation companies like Altitude Angel will make the journey to driverless a smoother ride.
Making moves in mobility
These five Disruption50 finalists are steering the future of mobility by improving existing systems while preparing for what could be just around the corner. Drover and AppyParking, for example, support cars that are already in circulation, tapping into the sharing economy and maximising resources. Immense is gradually creating software models to facilitate advanced mobility solutions, ZapGo is fundamentally changing the nature of travel by providing more sustainable energy for electric vehicles, and Altitude Angel is literally going above and beyond in the aviation space. The question is… Which company is the most disruptive? Register for Disruption Summit Europe to find out.
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