These Detroit mobility startups just received $200K in grants to support high-tech projects

What’s happening: The Michigan Mobility Funding Platform has awarded $520,000 in grants to four high-tech mobility startups, it was announced on Wednesday, May 10, with two of the four being located in Detroit. The grants will help fund the real-world testing and deployment of mobility projects in the city and across the state.

What it is: The Michigan Mobility Funding Platform (MMFP) is the result of a partnership between the state’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification and the Michigan Department of Transportation, and is intended to accelerate investment in mobility and electrification statewide. This is the sixth round of grants awarded by the MMFP since the first in September 2021, bringing the total amount awarded to $3,900,343 statewide.

Safety first: Meili Technologies develops in-cabin sensor software that detects driver and passenger health emergencies for vehicles with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). In-cabin sensors detect serious health events inside the vehicle and the vehicle then reacts by braking, flashing taillights, or otherwise. A $50,000 grant from MMFP will enable Meili to conduct a pilot project with Stellantis subsidiary FCA US to integrate the system within a Stellantis vehicle for further testing and demonstration.

Range anxiety: Also receiving an MMFP grant is PlugZen, a Detroit-based EV manufacturer that is developing a modular and flexible EV Charging platform that can charge up to 10 electric vehicles at a time. The company has received a $150,000 grant and will use it to further install their EV charging platforms, adapt them to more locations, and create workforce development opportunities.

What they’re saying: "The inclusion of all voices elevates business, drives sustainable policies, and creates equitable opportunities for all,” Kwabena "Q" Johnson, president at PlugZen, says in a statement. “With the support of MEDC, PlugZen is committed to making sure Metro Detroit communities have access to affordable EV charging and a stake in the future of the EV infrastructure they depend on.”

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.