PlanetM Awards shine light on startups innovating the technology of the future



Walking the floors of the North American International Auto Show one thing is clear, the convergence between automotive and tech has never been so prominent. On the main floor, the 2018 reveals flood the halls, while one floor below, the AutoMobili-D showcase features mobility technology that will propel those designs into the future.

For the first year, PlanetM, a collaborative branding effort to promote Michigan as the epicenter of mobility, honored innovators developing mobility-focused platforms and technologies driving the future.

In addition to “Startup of the Year” and “Best in Show,” startups were competing to win awards in Autonomous Driving, Connected Car, eMobility, Mobility Services and Smart Cities.

Carmera, a startup with the mission to automate cities through 3-D maps and navigation-critical data for autonomous vehicles, won three awards including Startup of the Year, Best in Show and was the Autonomous Driving category winner.

Gov. Rick Snyder took the stage to welcome all the entrepreneurs from around the world to Detroit and acknowledge the opportunity for cutting-edge technology companies to come to Michigan and collaborate in the birthplace of automotive.

“There’s been no bigger transformation in the history of the auto industry than what’s going on today,” Snyder said. “There’s no bigger challenge time than there is today, but no bigger opportunity time and we want to make sure here in Michigan we are leading the world in that.”

Seun Phillips, director of PlanetM for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), announced that all award winners will also receive one year complimentary access to the PlanetM Landing Zone in the heart of downtown Detroit.

Launched in October 2017, the PlanetM Landing Zone is a partnership between the Detroit Regional Chamber and MEDC inside WeWork Detroit, with a mission to attract global mobility startups to coexist with OEMs, suppliers and venture capitalist firms in Southeast Michigan.

The PlanetM Awards were created to celebrate entrepreneurs developing innovative, mobility-focused technologies and is a partnership between PlanetM, AutoMobili-D and the NAIAS.

Additional winners included:

Connected Car: VOXX Automotive, EVO Rear Seat Entertainment
eMobility: URB-E
Mobility Services: Parkofon
Smart Cities: Immotor GO II

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