MOBILITYXLAB AND ERICSSON: TWO YEARS OF NURTURING INNOVATION
Comprised of leading Swedish firms, CEVT, Ericsson, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group, Veoneer and Zenuity, MobilityXlab (MXL) was founded in the fall of 2017. Its mission is to provide an unconventional collaboration platform where large, established organizations and emerging companies with pioneering ideas within the automotive ecosystem could learn from and help one another to drive innovation in mobility together. MobilityXlab recently hosted its annual Tech Day, which welcomed more than 40 emerging companies to share their ideas for tomorrow’s connected vehicle services.
One thing we have learned through the years is that collaboration is the key to innovation and creating products and services that people will love and businesses cannot succeed without. The next generation of mobility services are currently in development and the startups working through the developments will need guidance to help turn their ideas into sustainable businesses. When Ericsson was started in 1876, I am sure it could have benefited from a guiding hand.
Ericsson is proud to be a founding member of MobilityXlab. Through it, we get the opportunity to work with budding companies and help them bring their creations to market. They gain advice and guidance from experienced leaders. But the relationship is symbiotic as all parties involved get to learn from one another.
Over the past two years, MobilityXlab has worked with 29 startups to set up shop in the MobilityXlab innovation hub located in the center of the world leading mobility cluster formed at Lindholmen, Gothenburg. These companies receive the benefit of working side-by-side with experts from the founding members and tapping into their global knowledge and expertise. The sponsor companies, like Ericsson, gets access to bleeding edge technology and ideas. It’s a win-win.
The startup culture is moving amazingly fast. Startups seem to be on a 15-day work week and are passionate about getting the job done. They are also nimble, agile and likely to adopt new business models. MXL works with these companies to nurture their creativity, drive and direction.
Ericsson is in the midst of rolling out the next generation of connectivity: 5G networks. 5G was designed to facilitate rapid device-to-device sharing and processing of data and the next generation of services are being designed with this fact in mind. Through MobilityXlab, we are inspired to see how 5G and other technologies will influence where the mobility industry is and what kind of new use cases, services and capabilities connected vehicles will soon be able to have.
Tech Day: a melting pot of innovation
MobilityXlab recently held its first Tech Day. More than 400 people from 40 different startups, representing more than six countries attended, meeting with more than 100 experts from Ericsson and the other founding MobilityXlab partners. There was a vibrant exchange of ideas in a dynamic melting pot of startups and established corporations as they worked together to combine forces and drive the future of mobility services in the automotive ecosystem.
Since we launched, we’ve reviewed more than 120 applications and received 62 pitches from aspiring companies. Our collaborations have seen more than 20 proof-of-concepts (POCs) come to life so MXL’s mission is succeeding which is incredibly rewarding for us.
For the upcoming fall semester, MobilityXlab has invited seven new startups to work and collaborate with us: Aurora Labs from Israel, Brighter AI from Germany, Deeplite and Zerokey from Canada, Enso Tyres from the U.K., and Pionate AB and Voysys from Sweden. We are looking forward to working with them to develop solutions able to contribute to such fields as self-healing software, privacy solutions for visual data and teleoperation systems for Remote Safety Drivers.
Lindholmen is a perfect spot for MobilityXlab to be based and its location is not a coincidence. In the immediate area are the headquarters of all six of the member corporations. This proximity ensures that those working in Lindholmen will always have access to the members and their resources to help advance their creations.
Finally, given that MobilityXlab is all about collaboration and ensuring everyone has a voice, the partners take turns leading the innovation hub. Now that it is Ericsson’s turn, I am honored to have been appointed chairman of MobilityXlab for the next semester of learning and innovation. From the board’s perspective, our priority will be to accelerate MobilityXlab into new locations and expand our universe of startups.
Getting to work with these young startups is an especially rewarding experience for me, personally, so being able to be even more involved with our seven new companies is something to which I am very much looking forward. As with all partners, Ericsson is bringing a team of great ambassadors from different areas and competences within the company to give our very best support to MobilityXlab and the selected startups.
We hope that more organizations will become interested in joining MobilityXlab to develop tomorrow’s connected services.
Author: Magnus Gunnarsson - head of Ericsson’s Portfolio and Business Development in the Automotive and Transport industries.