The event will feature over 150 exhibiting brands, ranging from automakers, to suppliers, to tech startups along with universities and government organizations. Additionally, over 100 industry thought leaders and executives will participate in symposiums and panel discussions throughout Press and Industry Preview Days.
“Building on the success of the inaugural launch of AutoMobili-D in 2017, the startup zone has expanded for 2018 and will feature a nearly 40 percent increase in startups participating from around the world that are highlighting innovations that touch on every aspect of mobility,” said Ryan LaFontaine, 2018 NAIAS Chairman. “Collectively these startups have raised more than $157 million in venture capital funding.”
“Automated technologies will change the way we travel and connect with each other,” said Secretary Chao. “The Department welcomes this opportunity to share our vision for promoting the safe and secure integration of new technologies into our country’s transportation infrastructure.”
Chao is currently the U. S. Secretary of Transportation. She also served as U.S. Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009.
“We are honored to have Secretary Chao keynote AutoMobili-D, the agenda that DOT has set under her leadership demonstrates the important nexus between innovation and transportation and her participation underscores the global significance of our show,” said LaFontaine.
Given the region’s budding entrepreneurial scene, it comes as no surprise that a number of startups showcasing at the event are homegrown startups from here in the Midwest.
One of which is Afreecar, based out of Rochester Hills, MI, United States. The ambitious startup, in partnership with MIT Media Lab, is developing a solar-powered mobility hub to provide electricity, transportation, and communications to underserved communities around the world. The vehicle will be made from local materials and reuse e-waste, such as EV batteries.
The event will also feature, HAAS Alert out of Chicago which delivers real-time data feeds of emergency vehicles en route and on-scene. Alongside CryptoWatt, a startup providing a solution that unites charging stations into a global roaming network, also based out of Chicago.