As the auto industry moves towards widespread electrification, the Mobility Studio is supporting the advancement of technologies, product collaborations, and business models that drive a cleaner transportation future. By 2040, commercial fleets are expected to adopt nearly 15 million EVs in the US. Commercial fleets, present a transformational opportunity for teams across disciplines to design, and launch pilots that make it technically feasible and commercially viable for fleets to electrify and support a sustainable energy future.
Connected vehicle data enables unique insights into route conditions, planning, traffic, parking, smart infrastructure, and charging location quality. The Mobility Studio is seeking companies with solutions that enable fleet operators to optimize electrified fleet operations in a way that is more advantageous than managing the traditional gas-powered fleet.
Commercial electric vehicles (EVs) have unique requirements when it comes to their capacity and ability to use public charging infrastructure. Multi-use charging hubs create an opportunity to share and consolidate charging infrastructure resources across multiple commercial fleets to maximize utility and share infrastructure costs. The Mobility Studio is seeking companies with solutions that enable a dynamic testbed for plug-and-play EV, micromobility, and battery charging solutions to be easily integrated and piloted to validate future multi-use charging hub models.
As fleet owners consider the transition to EV, their drivers will be considerably impacted with the paradigm shift of needing to charge and maintain an EV in their day-to-day lives. The Mobility Studio is seeking startups with solutions that could enable fleet drivers to charge and easily maintain their electric work vehicle from a residence that may not currently be equipped to do so, including Multi-Unit Dwellings (MUDs).
The ability for EVs to supply energy back to the grid can offset peak demand charges, prevent overloading the grid, and create energy resilience during a blackout. The Mobility Studio is seeking startups that can enable and test bidirectional EV charging to and from the grid to understand the impact on utility providers and cost savings for vehicle/property owners; as well as startups that can reduce the need for additional charging stations by enabling V2V charging for efficient fleet management.
Global battery demand has grown in recent years due to the shift towards EVs. Regulations dictate that batteries can only remain road-legal so long as they sustain a certain level of capacity. The second and multi-life applications for these batteries is a multi-billion dollar industry as batteries will still be high-capacity and performance hardware, even though no longer road-legal. The Mobility Studio is looking to work with startups to create logistics solutions for second life EV batteries by evaluating battery performance for reuse and applying these batteries to advance industry and sustainability challenges.
By 2040, more than half of all passenger vehicles sold will be electric. Accommodating this shift will require navigating policy, creating charging infrastructure at scale, developing advanced battery systems and storage networks, and streamlining grid management and distribution.
With the next decade of autonomous technology advancement, real-world test beds will be critical for piloting, refining, and scaling features such as remote assistance, safety protocols, HD mapping, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication. From delivery robots and drones to shuttle services connecting people with public transit, autonomous systems will unlock new capabilities in safety and efficiency. Fueled by smart infrastructure, autonomy has the potential to reduce congestion and emissions to benefit everyone.
Connected systems and advanced wireless communication will allow vehicles to transmit data to other AVs and roadside operators. Seamless connectivity and Over the air (OTA) updates will be a critical component for safety, maintenance, fleet operations, and driver experience, as well as for helping alleviate traffic congestion. Connected systems are critical for a multimodal future where drones, robots, scooters, e-bikes and light EVS serve the needs of everyone from the logistics industry to urban residents.
Newlab will work with Studio participants to identify potential pilot locations based on individual project needs by leveraging existing Ford, Michigan Central (Detroit), Newlab (New York), and Studio Partner infrastructure.
Michigan Central is a new mobility innovation district located in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood. Ford Motor Company is restoring Michigan Central Station to be the centerpiece of this district. It will be an open platform where leading entrepreneurs, researchers, technologists, foundations, industry and government stakeholders from around the world will co-create and test new urban transportation solutions on real-world streets, in real-world situations.
It will include new and revitalized buildings, a first-of-its-kind mobility testing platform, 1.2 million square feet of commercial real estate and public spaces that will be connected to the neighborhoods, city and region around it. Working with and in the community, Michigan Central will improve mobility access for everyone and serve as a launch pad to the increasingly connected, autonomous and electrified world ahead.
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets, and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company, and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification; mobility solutions, including self-driving services; and connected services. Ford employs approximately 188,000 people worldwide.
Detroit Startup Week fireside chat between Julie Roscini, Ford’s head of external engagement for Michigan Central, and Shaun Stewart, Newlab CEO. The two discuss the collaboration between Ford’s Michigan Central and Newlab to drive sustained mobility innovation investment in Detroit.