Startup companies think they can change driving. Here’s how.
A veteran computer scientist hates sitting in his car at stoplights, so he creates software that makes the experience less annoying. A former engineering professor wants to double the range of today’s electric vehicles. And an aeronautics expert believes flying cars shouldn’t be science fiction.
It’s no secret that technology is changing the car industry. The major automakers, as well as tech giants such as Google and possibly Apple, are laying the groundwork for the first driverless cars.
Meanwhile, a number of engineers and entrepreneurs have started their own companies to tackle other automotive challenges. Here are six startups that want to change the way you drive:
Traffic lights bring order to intersections, but have their inconveniences: They turn red when you’re in a hurry; they take forever to change green. And then your mind wanders while you wait — until the guy behind you starts leaning on his horn.
Entrepreneur and computer scientist Matt Ginsberg hates red lights. So he started Connected Signals, based in Eugene, Oregon, to collect real-time data from cities that synchronize their traffic signals. The company’s smartphone app tells motorists if an upcoming signal is about to change color. It shows drivers how long they’ll have to wait if a light is red — and chimes a warning just before it turns green.