Three Michigan companies won the Global Automotive Innovation Challenge in the categories of advanced materials, infotainment, and disruptive technology innovations at SAE World Congress, which concludes today at the Cobo Center in Detroit. The seventh annual Global Automotive Innovation Challenge invited companies from around the world to showcase their auto innovations with the chance to win $50,000.
Wixom-based Detroit Materials, a producer of advanced steels, won in the category of advanced materials, sensors, and manufacturing processes. The company won for their steel product that is comparable to highly alloyed and costly exotic steels.
Milan-based RightThereWare won for a new navigation system that combines dispatching, ride-sharing, routing, and ETAs for fleet owners. RightThereWare says the product could help fleet owners grow annual profits 20 percent to 100 percent.
Clare-based Advanced Battery Concepts won first place in the category of disruptive technology innovations for a lead acid battery with twice the life of a normal battery. The batteries, which cut down on the use of lead, help companies to produce less waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Nearly 40 companies applied to the Global Automotive Innovation Challenge. NextEnergy, a nonprofit accelerator of advanced energy technologies in Detroit’s Midtown district, held the final pitch event for 12 finalists in the beginning of April. The winners, announced at the SAE World Congress, will receive $50,000 worth of business commercialization acceleration services and cash.