The 2021 cohort of the TechLab at Mcity program kicked off on Tuesday, January 12 with a remote video conference that featured more than 50 guests. 

The entire 2021 cohort of students and mentors from each of the six startup companies joined the event as well as alumni of the program. The 2021 cohort companies include ADASTEC, Deepen AI, DeepMap, Foresight, Point One Navigation, and Seoul Robotics.    

Also in attendance were representatives from Mcity, UMTRI, Planet M, and the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator

Mcity has been an outstanding partner to the program since the program’s inception, providing unparalleled technical resources, technical assistance to the projects, and also operational support. UMTRI has provided significant technical support to many of the previous technical projects in the program. Planet M and the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator have helped recruit many of the companies that make up the extremely impressive 2021 cohort.

“This group of students and startups form an extremely energetic and talented cohort that are tackling globally-important challenges for the CAV industry,” said Nick Moroz, Assistant Director of Entrepreneurial Practice. “Successful outcomes of these projects will mean breakthroughs in autonomous parking, inclement weather machine vision, sensor fusion, edge case simulation, and mapping.”

This semester will take similar form to the previous semester, where students, instructors, and guest speakers will meet on a weekly basis remotely using Zoom. Students will still work on their projects in groups of four or fewer on campus and at Mcity in-person following strict COVID-related safety protocols. This cohort features a diverse set of projects and startups that, if successful, will play critical roles in furthering the development, demonstration, and deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles and infrastructure.

Trevor Pawl, Chief Mobility Officer for the State of Michigan, was the featured guest speaker for the kickoff. Mr. Pawl provided a detailed overview of the trends in the connected and autonomous industry, and how the SE Michigan region is positioned to be a global leader in this important technological space. 

“The meeting offered a precious opportunity to let us meet the Techlab family virtually,” saidJialu Yu, Foresight Automotive Team. “Mr. Trevor’s speech was so inspiring, which allowed us to understand the trend in CAV industries.

“I am looking forward to learning the cutting-edge detection technology in the autonomous industry this semester.” 

Much of the investment from the state is focused on creating testbeds for deployments such as the Cavnue project in Detroit. An important takeaway from the presentation was that the talent pipeline in this region is an incredible strength of the Michigan ecosystem. 

“The kickoff was eye-opening to the efforts being made by the state of Michigan towards the advancement of autonomous vehicles and its supporting infrastructure,” saidMeet Gandhi, Deepen AI Team. “I am looking forward to applying my skills and knowledge in a real-world project at TechLab at Mcity.” 

Keep your eyes on this cohort of TechLab at Mcity, they’re poised to create some of the products and technologies that define the next stage of the mobility revolution.

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