ACME — Software company Aveopt will receive a $100,000 PlanetM Mobility Grant. It is one of six startups to receive a total of more than $450,000 in state funding.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the latest PlanetM Mobility Grant recipients during remarks at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars in Acme. PlanetM Mobility Grants are intended to encourage mobility startups and corporations to deploy their technologies in Michigan, or prove out their technology at Michigan’s state-of-the-art testing facilities.

PlanetM is part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s marketing arm and advocate for business development, job awareness and community development

The six companies awarded grants aim to address mobility and transportation challenges, including traffic congestion reduction and improved pedestrian and road safety, according to a release. This is the third round of PlanetM’s Mobility Grants.

“This third round of PlanetM Mobility Grant recipients are using collaboration, fresh thinking and creativity to push the boundaries of knowledge, technology and innovation in the mobility space within our state,” said Amanda Roraff, director of technology activations of PlanetM, the mobility-focused brand and business development program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). “We’re thrilled to support these innovative solutions coming from such an energized mix of entrepreneurial talent, professionals, and students.”

Aveopt, headquartered at 101 N. Park St. in Traverse City, specializes in the development of software and system solutions focused on the Unmanned Aerial Systems market. Aveopt CEO Art Kahn said in the release that drone software systems will help support a variety of industries including commercial transport, infrastructure asset management and agriculture.

Aveopt is teaming up with Traverse City-based Atlas Space Operations, the Michigan Department of Transportation, Consumers Energy and Michigan Technological University. Through the Michigan Unmanned Aerial System Consortium, it will perform simulation tests and evaluations of its systems via wireless and satellite communications.

Other startups that received grants this cycle:

  • Propelmee received $100,000. It is a self-driving technology company founded in 2016 and headquartered in the United Kingdom. It chose Michigan as its first location outside of the UK. The company’s technology allows self-driving cars to ‘arrive and drive’, without the need to manually create a detailed database of the 3D environment.
  • GoKid received $90,000. It sells a carpooling solution for schools, teams and families. GoKid aims to help improve school attendance, lower tardiness and reduce traffic and congestion in front of schools by introducing GoKid Connect, the school carpool solution at selected pilot schools for the 2019/2020 school year. An initial set of schools has been selected for the rollout; however, GoKid is making its solution available to all schools and districts throughout Michigan at a discounted rate as part of the grant program.
  • Intvo received $60,000. The Ann Arbor company develops software that detects and predicts pedestrian behavior, especially in high-risk scenarios. It will collaborate with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute to begin deploying its technology in Ann Arbor. The software aims to give earlier warning to wireless-equipped vehicles.
  • Aerotronic received $50,000.The company will pilot test a remote sensing technology solution that captures vegetation and pole-top data for the utility industry, using Machine Learning to analyze remote sensing data and explore how integrating these insights eliminates business process inefficiencies.
  • AKTV8 received $50,000. It specializes in control systems and components for electronically adjustable suspension to improve ride comfort, handling and safety.

PlanetM recently partnered with the Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium, which offers access to airspace at the Smithers Winter Test Center and Proving Grounds in the Upper Peninsula.

The next pilot grant application deadline is Oct. 1, 2019. Testing grant applications are evaluated on a rolling basis. To apply or learn more, visit planetm.com/grants.