Who are Viscando?
Everything started when Amritpal Singh and Ulf Erlandsson decided to go from being colleagues to cofounders. As former employees at Saab they had the opportunity to explore and test military technology.
- The last few years at Saab, we were working with a subsidiary where we used military technology to understand traffic. As a part of that we interacted with a lot of cities to better understand what they needed. It was through that interaction the idea arose, says Amritpal Singh, CEO of Viscando.
Since then Viscando has developed a system that mimics the way a human looks at the world. Which basically means they created a solution which uses 3D-vision with AI methods to be able to handle the complexity of the outdoor environment and city traffic.
- As we spoke to cities around Sweden we understood that the measurement support was lacking and to address traffic safety they pretty much had to guess how to handle problems, like a complicated crossing, for example. So, we built a system that could register and measure all types of traffic, from pedestrians to heavy vehicles, and then analyze it with machine learning.
When Viscando met MobilityXlab
As time passed Viscando realized that their solution might be needed by other parties than city officials. Said and done, they started exploring the automobile industry.
- It was during a pitch that we got the advice to apply to MobilityXlab. The company we were pitching for saw an obvious need for our solution in the industry and an obvious synergy with MobilityXlab.
Despite the advice Amritpal and his colleagues almost didn’t apply…
- Honestly, we were unsure if we had the time. So we put it away and then two days before the deadline we changed our minds and decided it was worth trying to get to the pitch. So, we did and we couldn’t be happier that we applied. Just to be invited to the pitch gave us the answer we were looking for. Our solution is wanted in this industry.
The collaboration with Ericsson, Veoneer and Zenuity
To be accepted to the pitch at MobilityXlab at least two out of six partner companies have to want to work with you. In this case it was Ericsson, Veoneer and Zenuity who saw value and potential synergies with Viscando.
- We met with them every Wednesday and it was so apparent that their representatives were the right people at the right place and time, with the capacity to help us as well as to be heard within their organizations. The attitude was great and respectful. You sort of have prejudices when it comes to big corporations, attitudes and the will to cooperate. But we were equals here and we got a positive response immediately.
Viscando, Ericsson, Veoneer and Zenuity sat down and together they came up with a useful and valuable collaboration between each other. The problem of complicated crossings is imminent at Lindholmen as well as in society at large and this collaboration was set up to collect the data needed to solve that problem.
- We got a project from the Traffic Administration Office to hand them our collected data. Our collaboration will have a positive effect on the future and that is amazing.
Collaboration takes effort and when synergies and gain is found the real work begins.
- By collaborating with the partner companies we were given stricter requirements on development since they have such high technical insight. And we learned about what mattered to them and what they needed. Those insights are driving our technology and creates a better product for the cities we work with as well.
What was important for you to enable a better collaboration?
- It is up to us as startups to show what we can do, how we can match and investigate the different needs among the different partners. And you have to be upfront about your expectations and where you want to go.
What would you say to other startups thinking about applying to MobilityXlab?
- If you have the smallest connection to the automobile industry - apply. It’s worth it.