• Adastec, IXR Mobility, KTISIS and SafeMode are among the latest recipients awarded more than $300,000 in grant funding to deploy their mobility solutions in the state • Pilots to be deployed in Detroit, East Lansing, Lansing and Silver Lake Sand Dunes
LANSING, Mich., May 7, 2020 — PlanetM, the mobility initiative of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), today announced the latest recipients of the PlanetM Mobility Grant program. Four mobility companies – Adastec, IXR Mobility, KTISIS and SafeMode – received a total of more than $300,000 to pilot their mobility solutions in Michigan, including improved roadway and vehicle safety, automated vehicles and accessible, reliable transportation options.
“We’re thrilled to be able to support a unique group of pilots addressing a wide range of mobility pain points in this round of grant funding,” said Charlie Tyson, technology activation manager at PlanetM. “The work they are doing will not only create more accessible, safer and efficient transportation options, but is also enabling growth and sustainability here in Michigan as we look to the future.”
Meet Our Round Five Recipients:
Adastec is partnering with Michigan State University to roll out a full-size, electric Level 4 automated bus on MSU’s campus in East Lansing, Mich. The pilot will service a 7-mile route and will be open to the public beginning in 2021.
Designed for large-scale public transport on pre-defined public road routes, the Adastec Open Automated Bus Platform will be fully integrated with a wide range of compute, sensor, mapping and safety equipment. The open platform provides flexibility to bus manufacturers and, in turn, allows them to build the best automated bus configurations for the needs of the operators.
“Adastec is proud to be part of PlanetM’s grant program initiative,” said Dr. Ali Peker, CEO of Adastec. “When the history of autonomous vehicles is charted, we will see the major role played by Michigan, its companies and its people. We believe, together, we can build a safer more sustainable future that starts with Michigan and brings value to communities across the United States and the world.”
IXR Mobility ($58,000)
IXR Mobility, Bestmile, AARP and The Literacy Center have teamed up to improve Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) services by providing cloud-based technology and mobile applications for accessible, more reliable access to healthcare for disadvantaged communities in Detroit, Mich.
The IXR Mobility Bestmile on-demand app will allow mobility disadvantaged seniors, veterans and disabled individuals to book rides on-demand for medical appointments via Mobile Phone App Technology while tracking rides in real-time.
“Improving health comes through NEMT Mobile Technology,” said Ray Smith, mobility project manager at IXR Mobility.
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense and Ball Equipment, KTISIS will produce and install three sets of KTISIS Infinite Traction Systems (KITS), a revolutionary, patent-pending technology that will significantly increase vehicle safety and performance by reducing stopping distance and improving cornering capability, on a number of popular off-road vehicle brands at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, the only dunes east of the Mississippi River where you are allowed to ride private motorized vehicles. Especially effective in challenging weather and road conditions, KITS is lightweight, battery powered and can be retrofitted on any vehicle.
“Our pilot program presents a tremendous opportunity to showcase our KITS technology in some of the most scenic and challenging test tracks in Michigan this fall,” said Stephen Chue, principal of KTISIS and inventor of KITS. "Thank you to my team and strategic partners for making this possible and enabling us to showcase the full potential of this technology with industry experts and enthusiasts.”
Together with the Volvo Group and Transdev, SafeMode will pilot its driver-centric platform in Lansing, Mich. to tackle one of the most significant problems for the automotive industry – enhancing driver behavior and retention. SafeMode's behavior-based software will enable Transdev's drivers to gain actionable insights into their fleet and driver behavior by accessing driving data, coaching features and monetary incentive programs to follow safety and efficiency improvements. The pilot project expects to gain a reduction in incidents and road accidents, savings in fuel consumption and an increase in driver's satisfaction and retention. Through the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA), Israeli-based SafeMode was connected to Michigan’s mobility ecosystem, including the PlanetM grant program.
"We are thrilled to partner with the Volvo Group and Transdev to make roads safer and more sustainable by shifting the focus to the drivers,” said Ido Levy, founder and CEO of SafeMode. “Joining forces with both automakers and global leaders in transportation, our cutting-edge behavioral-AI technology will transform the way fleets, managers, and drivers are engaging and thinking of driving. The success of this partnership is a significant milestone along the SafeMode journey to disrupt the mobility industry with the first driver-centric platform and the vision of empowering drivers.”
About the PlanetM Mobility Grants
The PlanetM Mobility Grants, separated into two categories – testing and pilots – encourage mobility startups and corporations to deploy their technologies in Michigan, or prove out their technology at Michigan's state-of-the-art testing facilities including Mcity at the University of Michigan (UM), American Center for Mobility (ACM), GM Mobility Research Center (GMMRC) at Kettering University (KU), Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium (MUASC) and Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) at Michigan Technological University (MTU). PlanetM partners with NextEnergy to support project management services for each pilot program. NextEnergy works directly with the selected startups and corporations to establish grant agreement terms, outline each statement of work – including objectives, milestones and a timeline – and oversees the implementation of the pilot by serving as the fiduciary to disperse grant and cost-share funding.
Designed to assist mobility companies with the resources needed to test, refine and deploy their technology solutions in Michigan, the PlanetM Mobility Grant program has awarded nearly $2 million in grant funding since its inception in 2018. In light of the global pandemic, PlanetM has transitioned the PlanetM pilot grant funds to the COVID-19 mobility solutions grant, which will provide funding to mobility solutions that address the crucial challenges presented by the spread of COVID-19 within the state of Michigan. For more information regarding PlanetM’s Mobility Grant program, visit planetm.com/grants.
PlanetM is a partnership of mobility organizations, communities, educational institutions, research and development, and government agencies working together to develop and deploy the mobility technologies driving the future. Available to any mobility-focused company or investor, PlanetM is a no-cost, concierge service that connects startups, businesses and communities to Michigan’s mobility ecosystem — the people, places and resources dedicated to the evolution of transportation mobility. Michigan has always been the leader of the automotive industry, and as transportation technologies continue to evolve in amazing ways, Michigan continues to lead the way. Visit PlanetM.com to learn more.