AI pioneer Spark EV Technology joins a prestigious programme designed to create UK leaders in the £900bn global transport systems market.
Spark selected for Wayra UK/Transport Systems Catapult Intelligent Mobility Accelerator
Spark EV Technology today announced that it has been chosen for the Intelligent Mobility (IM) Accelerator programme, following a highly competitive selection process. This will help Spark further commercialise its pioneering AI-based electric vehicle (EV) journey prediction software and provide it with access to paid proof of concept projects with programme sponsors such as Hyundai and Stagecoach.
The IM Accelerator, a partnership between Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) and Wayra UK, is designed to attract disruptive start-ups with high-growth potential into the UK transport supply chain, while helping them grow into world-leading companies. It is based in Milton Keynes and selects a cohort of just six companies for each six month programme.
“Joining the Intelligent Mobility Accelerator marks a major step forward in our goal of commercialising our AI-based journey prediction software,” said Justin Ott, CEO, Spark EV Technology. “The programme acts as a testbed for corporates looking to adopt new technology, and will help us develop our business, working with organisations such as Wayra, Transport Systems Catapult, Hyundai and Stagecoach.”
Spark’s AI-based journey prediction software uses machine learning to help EVs and hybrids go further between charges using live data from the vehicle, driver and atmospherics. These more accurate predictions help overcome range anxiety and therefore drive greater adoption of electric vehicles by both businesses and consumers.
“The Intelligent Mobility programme aims to nurture and scale-up the next generation of UK transport systems leaders, giving them the support they need to deliver data-driven solutions to the most pressing problems facing the world today,” said Gary Stewart, Director, Wayra UK. “Spark’s innovation helps meet the key goal of reducing transport emissions, by accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles through its innovative software. The whole team looks forward to working with Spark over the next six months.”
Spark will benefit from the expertise and support of Wayra, the world-leading startup accelerator that is part of Telefónica Open Future_, and the Transport Systems Catapult. This will include office space, mentoring and networking, access to the partners’ networks of investors, government agencies, customers, large corporates and universities, as well as opportunities to work with the TSC’s world-leading Data, Visualisation, Customer Experience and Connected and Autonomous Vehicle capability teams.
“The UK government has set out a clear strategy to deliver a zero emissions transport future,” said Alex Weedon, Director of SME Strategy, the Transport Systems Catapult. “That requires the industry to overcome factors such as range anxiety that hold back consumers and businesses from switching to electric vehicles. Spark’s innovative technology is therefore perfectly placed to help increase EV adoption and we’re excited about helping the team to accelerate its development to become a leader in intelligent mobility.”
About Spark EV Technology
Driven by air quality concerns, global legislation is accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). However, drivers, automotive companies and fleet operators face multiple challenges with EVs, including range anxiety, ensuring high utilisation rates and optimising productivity.
At Spark, our mission is to accelerate plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle (PHEV/EV) adoption by removing range anxiety and increasing vehicle trust. Our AI-powered range prediction checks a vehicle has enough energy to complete its next journey and adapts to individual drivers. Using map data, live traffic, weather and live vehicle data Spark calculates the energy needed for a journey. The solution can be provided as an app, in the cloud, or embedded into a SatNav. Research carried out by the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School estimates that the global market for EV prediction solutions will rise to at least £501m by 2022.
Developed in Cambridge, UK, Spark combines the company’s own research with work from the University of Essex. Available now, it is already receiving strong interest across Scandinavia. A finalist in the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge, a regional finalist in the Shell Springboard competition and an alumni member of Accelerate Cambridge, Spark EV Technology has received investment from New Anglia Capital and the Low Carbon Innovation Fund.
About Transport Systems Catapult
The Transport Systems Catapult is the UK’s technology and innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility, harnessing emerging technologies to improve the movement of people and goods around the world. We are here to support business growth, increase the UK’s share of the global Intelligent Mobility market, and attract investment – creating jobs and generating long-term economic growth.
We will help sell UK capability on the global stage, while also promoting the UK as a superb test bed for the transportation industry. With a clear emphasis on collaboration, we are bringing together diverse organisations across different modes of transport, breaking down barriers and providing a unique platform for meeting the world’s most pressing transport challenges.
The Transport Systems Catapult is one of an elite network of not-for-profit technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. For more information, please visit ts.catapult.org.uk
About Wayra UK
Wayra UK is part of Telefónica Open Future_, the open innovation programme that integrates the different initiatives of the whole Telefónica Group related to entrepreneurship and innovation.
Wayra UK gives direct funding, acceleration and pre-acceleration services (such as co-working space, connectivity services, mentoring, access to Wayra UK’s network and knowhow, training in entrepreneurship and business skills) to selected start-ups. Since its launch in 2012, Wayra UK start-ups have raised approximately $150m in third-party investment.
Wayra UK has partnered with some of the world’s leading organisations to invest in a number of verticals that help generate growth, create positive societal impact and fuel innovation across a number of industries.
These include Velocity Health with Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD), a global healthcare company transforming healthcare; Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), through the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator; our Wayra Fair By Design programme, which seeks to alleviate the poverty premium; and the Intelligent Mobility Accelerator, a partnership with the Transport Systems Catapult.
Wayra UK also works alongside local and regional partners to reinvigorate entrepreneurial ecosystems, energise local economies and democratise entrepreneurship.
Maximising utilisation for electric vehicles