Berlin/München, 02.11.2016 – German Autolabs, a Berlin-based startup, is developing a digital co-driver for a safer, more entertaining driving experience in the era of messaging and apps. Thanks to a sophisticated AI solution built around the needs of drivers, the product makes smartphone services accessible through speech and gestures; drivers won’t even need to touch their phones. Founders Holger G. Weiss (former CEO of Aupeo) and Patrick Weissert (former Director Consumer at HERE) secured funding of 2 million euros from German technology investor Target Partners and various business angels.
“Self-driving cars are gradually becoming a reality. But until we’re able to lean back and let our cars do all the work, we’ve got to empower drivers to use digital technology without the danger of being distracted. In 2012 more than 430,000 crashes in the US were caused by distracted driving according to AAA Foundation’s Traffic Safety Culture Index. Only an intelligent software solution equipped with state-of-the-art speech recognition technology will allow drivers to benefit from apps and content, turning each car into a connected car. We are delighted to team up with a tech VC as experienced as Target Partners - this will enable us to accelerate product development and market launch.”
Holger Weiss, CEO of German Autolabs
“German Autolabs wants to bring digital life to any driver and any car. This is a huge market - with over 500 million cars in North America and Europe alone. Holger Weiss is one of the most experienced entrepreneurs in the field of connected mobility, while Patrick Weissert is a thought leader in developing digital consumer products. We are happy to support this first-rate founder duo as investors.
Berthold von Freyberg, Partner at Target Partners
Whether it’s at the traffic light, in slow-moving traffic or even while driving: reaching for your smartphone to check your messages quickly or replying to an email is part of the daily experience of many drivers. German Autolabs is working on a solution that allows drivers to use apps and services intuitively—in any car, independent of its age or manufacturer. The digital co-driver takes care of any task it is told to do, communicating with the driver when needed. This allows drivers to keep their hands where they are most needed: at the wheel. The two founders have put together an interdisciplinary team of experienced developers, UX/UI designers, product managers and product designers to connect human models of interaction with AI. This will bring the digital world into cars with no loss of safety.
“Intelligent, semantic speech recognition is the key that will make our cars part of our digital lives. Thanks to Amazon’s Alexa, Ok Google, and Siri we are used to operating digital services through speech. Our product is a digital co-driver that—like GPS navigation ten years ago—will soon be indispensable to any driver.”
Patrick Weissert, Chief Product Officer at German Autolabs
The digital co-driver will be developed and manufactured in Germany. Launch for consumers is projected for 2017.