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In 1948, inventor and mechanical engineer Ralph Teetor came up with the modern cruise control, an invention that revolutionized the way we drive. Nowadays, it is a common everyday item. The next invention that would make an impact in the way we drive only came years later, in 2003, automatic parking. So what’s next when it comes to the way we drive, what is the future of driving? For now, higher automation and connectivity, but experts predict that, in 2050, our main means of transportation could be a driverless car.

The advantages of higher automation and connectivity are several, from less road accidents to a better flowing traffic. Various projects all around the world are looking for ways to improve this. The CONCORDA Project, for example, an European initiative, aims to improve traffic flow and safety on the road. KPN, the largest telecom and IT service provider in the Netherlands, as a part of the project is looking to test and validate innovative technologies in their 5G lab and offering innovators the opportunity to land a pilot project.


Be inspired by cutting edge technologies from all over the world and stay up to date with the latest opportunities for startups.

We decided to highlight some innovations that are setting the tone for the future of driving. Check out this list we put together.

1. Embotech

Embotech, short for embedded optimization technologies, was founded in September 2013. Their aim is to lead the market for numerical optimization solutions that will be integral part of tomorrow’s decision making systems. They have been developing their motion planning technology since 2011.

Their algorithms and code are highly optimized for automated driving, with a common core supporting various applications such as self-racing, parking, highway driving, adaptive cruise control and ultimately urban driving.

2. WayRay

WayRay is developing immersive holographic navigation systems for cars, using AR technology since 2015. Drivers do not need to use any headgear to visualize the holographic navigation on the road.

They have developed a virtual world around the car that moves and continuously changes in sync with the route and the driver’s preferences. Also, the first holographic AR navigation system for cars and a gamified tracker for smarter driving.

3. Valerann

Valerann is a data provider who wants to accelerate the revolution of the intelligent transportation industry through their technology, “Smart Road”.  It is an end-to-end solution integrating innovative sensing technologies into roads and transforming them towards future-ready, connected infrastructures that provide a whole new source of data.

It is a wireless, sensory, IoT system that provides real-time, high resolution information about everything that takes place on the road. This information is used to detect risks, prevent accidents, optimize intersections, automate traffic control centres, and support connected & autonomous vehicles. The Valerann system transforms the road into a stable base for a complete, smart transportation eco-system.

4. PACE Telematics

PACE Telematics is an app that allows cars to transform into a hustle-free smart car by connecting a Bluetooth adapter to a smartphone. This system enables nine functions, among which are calling for help in the case of an emergency or providing information on the cheapest gas station nearby.

5. Otonomo

Otonomo provides the first neutral automotive data services platform that paves the way for new apps and services to benefit drivers, passengers, municipalities, and companies in the global transportation ecosystem.

It allows automotive manufacturers to monetize car data and share it, enabling them to provide their customers with new services. To date, the cloud technology developed by Otonomo is already connecting millions of cars.


Do you have a solution that can enable connected automated driving in the smart cities of the future? Then KPN, together with their partners, Ericsson, TU Eindhoven, Tass International and OPNT, has an opportunity for you.

You could land a pilot contract (budget estimated 50k) to test your solution in KPN’s 5G Field Lab: currently the A270 from Helmond – Eindhoven, get access to the Rotterdam Unlocked program, which includes a warm welcome to the city, relevant networking engagements and additional meetings with corporates and governments and much more.

What are you waiting for? Apply here.