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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
28 January, 2019 - 14:20 By Tony Quested

Spark of brilliance – AI startup tilts at £900 billion global market

Spark EV Technology in Cambridge has captured an edge in the global scramble for a slice of a £900 billion market.

The business 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.

Justin Ott, CEO, Spark EV Technology, said: “Joining the Intelligent Mobility Accelerator marks a major step forward in our goal of commercialising our AI-based journey prediction software. 

“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.

Gary Stewart, director, Wayra UK said: “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.

“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.

Alex Weedon, director of SME strategy, for the Transport Systems Catapult, concluded: “The UK government has set out a clear strategy to deliver a zero emissions transport future.

“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.”

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