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British automobile company MG Motor has shortlisted five Indian startups through its innovation programme, MG Drives Innovation. The list includes CarIQ, Steradian Semi, Altigreen Propulsion Labs, Zuper, and Exploride.

Through this programme, the company plans to bring additional synergies to its automotive business by integrating the products of these startups into the vehicles it manufactures.

The company received more than 200 startup applications after it launched the programme on November 16 this year. 15% of these applications were from startups in the telematics category, followed by virtual reality, augmented reality and electric vehicles segment.

Rajeev Chaba, President & Managing Director, MG Motor India, said, “It is truly encouraging to see the quality and range of ideas from startups here and the response has been truly overwhelming. At MG, we aim to foster a culture of constant innovation and it is heartening to see ground-up hardware and core product innovations from young teams across India. We are excited to evaluate the capabilities of these startups which will help us add value to our business”

The startups were selected by a panel which comprised of people like auto industry veteran Jayanta Deb, Dr.PS Nair (ex-ISRO, Head of Structures at Team Indus), Dr.Anil Wali (MD, FITT at IIT Delhi), Shailesh Vikram Singh (Cofounder, Go Massive) and Padmaja Ruparel (Cofounder and CEO of Indian Angel Network) and some executives from the MG Motor India team.

The five selected startups will showcase their offerings at the MG Innovation Lounge at TiEcon New Delhi on December 15 and 16, 2017. Also, the company will organise a ‘Mentoring Garage’ for the startups, where the teams can get the opportunity to get mentored by some veterans in the automobile industry.

A Look At The Five Selected Startups Under MG Drives Innovation Programme

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CarIQ: Founded in 2013, CarIQ brings a new connected way towards driving and maintaining your car by connecting it to the Internet, enabling you with 24/7 access to status, vehicle data, location and advanced analytics. It also helps users to get the best insurance policy for their car and has tie-ups with repairing workshops for quick and easy service. It is currently based in Pune and the founders are Sagar Apte, Vinu K, and Hrishikesh Nene.

Steradian Semi.: The semiconductor startup has built a high-resolution 4D radar that enables true all-weather vision for Autonomous Vehicles and Drones. It is further developing products for autonomous vehicles that produce high efficiency and have low power consumption. The startup is currently based in Bengaluru and was founded by Apu Sivadas, Rakesh Kumar, Ashish Lacchwani, Alok Joshi and Gireesh Rajendran in January 2016.

Altigreen Propulsion Labs: The startup is creating intellectual property in aftermarket products for automotive systems using green and eco-friendly technologies. It has already designed IP for 4-wheel passenger and commercial vehicles. It has offices in India as well as the USA and was founded in the year 2013 by Amitabh Saran, Shailendra Gupta, and Lasse Moklegaard.

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Exploride:  The startup has developed a futuristic hands-free head up display for cars controlled with gesture and voice controls. It has features such as navigation, smartphone connect and furthermore, it places everything right in the line of sight of the driver with a transparent display, with zero overhead costs. It was founded in the year 2014 by Sunil Vallath, Vivek Mohan, and Rahul Agrawal.

Zuper: It is a field service management platform that helps businesses to keep track of their workspace and consumers while staying at home or driving a car. It also provides analytics powered by IoT, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cloud services.

The Indian automobile market is rapidly developing in order to catch up with PM Narendra Modi’s 2030 vision of going ‘all electric’. At the same time, innovators have leveraged the power of technology to ensure a safe, cheap and comfortable ride to the car drivers. B2B automobile service startup LetsService and IoT based startup Carnot also secured seed funding in 2017.

Major automobile giants like TVS and Hero MotoCorp have heavily invested in electric vehicle startups and are looking to roll out their electric vehicle services in the upcoming year. With MG Motors also entering the game to help startups through their innovation programme, the ride will surely become more comfortable for startups in the coming years.

(The development was reported by ET)

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