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Jake Bekemeyer

A BrightDrop EP1 electric pallet system, which will be part of the Seattle Neighborhood Delivery Hub Pilot. // Courtesy of BrightHub

GM’s BrightDrop Partners with Seattle Companies for Zero-emission Last-mile Delivery Pilot

BrightDrop, a new business from Detroit’s General Motors Co., has partnered with the University of Washington Urban Freight Lab, the Seattle Department of Transportation, REEF, Coaster Cycles, and AxleHire to launch a zero-emission last-mile...
ELMS urban utility teaser image

Troy-based Electric Last Mile Announces Electric Medium-duty Truck

Troy-based Electric Last Mile Inc. today announced its plans to reveal a working prototype of the Urban Utility, an all-electric medium-duty cab-forward truck, with production slated to begin in the second half of 2022.With...
Detroit-based Navv Systems, a health care technology company focused on hospital personnel location and equipment tracking and location services, announced it has closed a $3.2 million seed funding round led by Ann Arbor-based Arboretum Ventures. Detroit Venture Partners joined the financing with existing investors including Ann Arbor-based Narrow Gauge Ventures. NavvTrack was developed at Henry Ford Innovations in Detroit — the development and commercialization arm of Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) — and licensed it to Navv in 2019 to help hospitals track equipment, personnel, and clinical workflows. The technology is already in use at all six HFHS hospitals to optimize patient transport, housekeeping, and central pharmacy deliveries. “This financing is an important achievement to support our continued growth with new health system customers,” says Dr. Daniel Siegal, Navv’s co-founder and CEO and vice-chair of radiology at HFHS. “Asset tracking remains a difficult challenge in need of a holistic solution that encompasses equipment, patients, and clinicians.” The system is also in use at the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, Mass. The company says implementation of the system has resulted in workflow improvements and cost efficiency by coordinating teams, better estimating task fulfillment timing, and enabling effective supply chain planning. Arboretum Ventures is a venture capital firm specializing in the health care sector. Founded in 2002, the firm has raised $700 million to support a diverse portfolio by targeting capital-efficient companies that improve patient outcome and reduce costs. Tim Petersen, managing partner at Arboretum, has joined Navv’s board of directors. “We’ve been very impressed with the sophistication of Navv’s technology, and the early customer traction Dan and his team have achieved,” says Petersen. “Navv is another prime example of clinician-led innovation emanating from a world-class organization like Henry Ford, addressing an important and immediate healthcare challenge.” Detroit Venture Partners was founded in 2010 by Dan Gilbert and has been backing early-stage tech companies that advance the world. It leverages more than 90 companies within the Rock Family of Cos., including Rocket Mortgage, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bedrock, and StockX.

Detroit’s Navv Systems Announces Close of $3.2M Funding Round Led by Arboretum Ventures

Detroit-based Navv Systems, a health care technology company focused on hospital personnel location and equipment tracking and location services, announced it has closed a $3.2 million seed funding round led by Ann Arbor-based Arboretum...
Ann Arbor-based Clinc, a leading provider of conversational artificial intelligence (CAI) technology, announced a suite of patented CAI products for banks and credit unions. The platform, Clinc Public Banking Agent, is built for pre-authenticated interactions, meaning no password or security is required from the customer. Nearly 30 prebuilt requests are already built into the system, allowing for quick and seamless deployment. It is integrated with both the front and back-end systems at an institution, which allows customers to access balance inquiries, account transfers, bill payment, budget advice, and other tasks tied directly to the accounts information. "We spent the winter talking with banks and credit unions of all sizes and the message was clear: they need to deliver a better customer experience, at an affordable price point, with a clear ROI — and they need it fast,” says Kyle Hellsten, vice president of product at Clinc. "The critical importance of digital Virtual Assistants was already there, but COVID exacerbated the stress on contact centers and cost containment, forcing the financial services industry to scramble for solutions." The Clinc Public Banking Agent also features a library of frequently asked question in its pre-built functions. It can answer card error questions, product information inquires, troubles with overdraft protection, direct deposit, automatic payments, and much more. The platform is already being used by Minnesota-based U.S. Bank for its Smart Assistant. Customers can send money with a simple voice command using Zelle — a third-party digital payment network — instead of clicking through multiple screens to perform the same task. Clinc’s robust CAI is unique due to its ability to recognize conversational context. This is useful for many common situations encountered when dealing with CAI, including making corrections if a customer misspeaks while using U.S. Bank Smart Assistant. “Send Dave $20 this Monday,” will schedule a Zelle transaction for that amount at that time. If the customer meant to send $25, they can say “Actually, make that $25,” to instantly update the scheduled payment. Another context recognition feature available with the Smart Assistant is feedback. If the request or question is spoken, the CAI will respond verbally; if it is typed, the assistant will produce linked text results only. “Clinc's initial success was driven through the incredible user experiences of our large, enterprise customers. This allowed us to leverage all our learnings and experience to build easy to implement, out-of-the box products for financial institutions that may not have large internal IT departments or budgets to build customized solutions,” Hellsten says. “And to continue this success, we are still 100 percent committed and invested in our flagship platform, which will constantly drive the innovation for all our customers, regardless of size.”

Ann Arbor-based Clinc Announces Conversational AI Suite for Banks and Credit Unions

Ann Arbor-based Clinc, a leading provider of conversational artificial intelligence (CAI) technology, announced a suite of patented CAI products for banks and credit unions.The platform, Clinc Public Banking Agent, is built for pre-authenticated interactions,...
An Inficon automotive leak detector. // Courtesy of Inficon.

Report: EV Batteries Need Better Leak Testing Going Forward

Researchers at INFICON, a Switzerland-based supplier of automotive leak-detection systems, have determined that lithium-ion batteries used in hybrid and full-electric vehicles require better quality control testing to avoid performance issues and safety hazards down...
A UVeye automatic scanner. // Courtesy of UVeye

Survey: Automated Vehicle Inspections Make Roadways Safer

According to research by Tel Aviv, Israel-based UVeye, a leader in automated vehicle inspection technology, visual inspections offered by most garages are done in less than 15 minutes and successfully identify safety related issues...
Hydrogen fuel cell stack

GM and Liebherr-Aerospace Partner for On-board Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power System

General Motors Co. in Detroit and Switzerland-based Liebherr-Aerospace have signed a joint development agreement covering the buildout of an electrical power generation system to demonstrate how hydrogen fuel cell-based power systems could be used...
Still from "I won" music video

Dodge and Universal Join Forces for New “Fast and Furious” Film Release

Dodge, which have been a part of Universal’s “Fast and Furious” franchise since it began, has announced another collaboration for the ninth installment of the series “F9,” which opens nationwide on June 25.The multi-tier...
New Economy Intiative

New Economy Initiative Announces $1.2M Grant from the Kresge Foundation for Small Detroit Businesses

The New Economy Initiative (NEI) has announced a $1.2 million grant from The Kresge Foundation in Troy for a new anchor business grant program that will provide grant support and practical assistance to 25...