PRESS RELEASE: Aveopt's UTM Performance Arbitration System (UPAS) Connects Air and Ground Mobility

August 07, 2019 12:36 PM

6 more startups receive Michigan grant funding

Pete Bigelow

As places such as Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, Israel, have emerged as epicenters for transportation-related startup companies, leaders in Michigan want to ensure the state keeps pace in the fledgling mobility economy.

Six startups will collectively receive more than $450,000 in grant money from the PlanetM, the mobility-minded division of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the recipients Wednesday at the 2019 CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.

From tire technology to unmanned aerial systems, the startups are building products and software that span the transportation realm. In some cases, the companies are homegrown in Michigan. In other cases, the grant money will help companies from elsewhere start pilot projects in the state.

"We take advantage of our natural strengths and assets, and we build upon that by ensuring that we've got the talent, work force and the infrastructure that supports all this cutting-edge mobility work that is happening," Whitmer told the gathering of industry executives.

This marks the third round of grants doled out as part of PlanetM's Mobility Grant program. In previous rounds, the organization provided $224,000 for three recipients in December and $440,000 to five companies in May. Previously, PlanetM delivered $80,000 to Derq, a startup from Dubai testing software that can detect red-light runners.

Collectively, PlanetM has now provided about $1.2 million in grant money to 15 companies.

Business-friendly skies

While Michigan is inextricably linked with the auto industry, the grants intend to help the state broaden its economic appeal to other modes of mobility. One of the grant recipients announced Wednesday was Aveopt, a company developing software and infrastructure to manage unmanned aerial vehicles and drones.

When founder Art Kahn sought a home for the company in 2016, he landed on an 80-acre site in Traverse City in part because of the economic infrastructure available within the state.

"I believe Michigan is an ideal home because of all it has done and its resources, capabilities and knowledge base, which can all take this aerial component of mobility and truly turn Michigan into a leader if it chooses to be one," Kahn said.

Kahn said the Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium has been a key organization in helping companies interested in testing unmanned aerial systems take flight in the state. The nonprofit in Alpena, Mich., holds an agreement with the Griffiss Federal Aviation Administration test site in New York, which helps give its members access to test sites and prioritized FAA approval processes.

"The consortium is a major value-add for Michigan," Kahn said. "And as the state looks at all the pieces it already has in place, it's important to emphasize that this is an opportunity for the state to really expand beyond that and look at the aerial side of mobility. The technologies do cross over. It's important that's understood."

Kahn says Aveopt will use its $100,000 in fresh grant money to run its system through simulation and validation testing at Michigan Technological University. Starting in the first quarter of 2020, the company will run field demonstrations with unmanned aerial vehicles to ensure its redundant tracking systems are accurate.

PRESS RELEASE: Aveopt's UTM Performance Arbitration System (UPAS) to undergo evaluation


Six companies awarded PlanetM grants to deploy mobility solutions in Michigan

Kathleen Achtenberg

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Propelmee, Aveopt, GoKid, Intvo, Aerotronic and AKTV8 among the latest recipients of the PlanetM Mobility Grants

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., August 7, 2019 — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced the latest PlanetM Mobility Grant recipients during her opening remarks at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars. The six new startups recognized by Governor Whitmer aim to address today’s toughest mobility and transportation challenges, including traffic congestion reduction and improved pedestrian and road safety. Propelmee, Aveopt, GoKid, Intvo, Aerotronic and AKTV8 are the third round recipients of PlanetM’s Mobility Grants, with a total of more than $450,000 in grant funding awarded this round.

“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.”

Meet Our Round Three Recipients:

Propelmee ($100,000)
Propelmee is a self-driving technology company founded in 2016, and headquartered in the UK. Propelmee has chosen Michigan as the first location outside of the UK, to expand its self-driving technology development and testing operations internationally, where they will demonstrate an industry-first approach to autonomous driving, without any dependency on prior 3D high definition mapping. Creating 3D high definition maps requires fleets of mapping vehicles to continually survey roads and collect terabytes of raw data, which needs to be painstakingly annotated. Propelmee’s technology allows self-driving cars to ‘arrive and drive’, without needing to manually create a detailed database of the 3D environment.

“We are proud to be expanding our autonomous driving operations internationally in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and PlanetM, said Zain Khawaja, CEO and founder, Propelmee. “We chose Michigan as the ideal spot to demonstrate our technology on public roads because of the fantastic support from local government and forward-looking initiatives to promote the development of advanced mobility technologies. We especially look forward to tackling the challenging winter driving conditions on Michigan highways, and working towards developing new partnerships with the local automotive industry.”

Aveopt ($100,000)
Headquartered in Traverse City, Mich., Aveopt specializes in the development of software and system solutions focused on the emerging Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) market. Projected proliferation of these platforms integrating into controlled and uncontrolled airspace in support of various industries including commercial transport, infrastructure asset management and agriculture, creates a need for UAS Traffic Management (UTM) systems and UAS Service Suppliers (USS). Aveopt, teamed with Atlas Space Operations, the Michigan Department of Transportation, Consumers Energy and Michigan Technological University, will through the Michigan Unmanned Aerial System Consortium (MUASC) perform simulation tests and evaluations of its UTM Performance Arbitration System (UPAS) across wireless and satellite communications infrastructures.

“We are pleased PlanetM is undertaking efforts to help facilitate integrating UAS as the aerial component within Michigan’s mobility initiative, further solidifying and elevating Michigan’s leadership in mobility,” said Art Kahn, CEO of Aveopt. “UAS is widely envisioned to be a disruptive technology over the next 15-20 years, opening the door for significant growth opportunities across various mobility industries and technologies. We’re proud that the collaborative work of our team supported by PlanetM will further enable Michigan to be a leading contributor in bringing that vision to fruition.”

GoKid ($90,000)
GoKid, an award-winning, venture-backed carpooling solution for schools, teams and families, is bringing its mobility solution to Michigan. 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.

"GoKid is honored to receive the PlanetM Mobility Grant," said GoKid CEO and cofounder, Stefanie Lemcke. "Having participated in the Techstars Mobility program in Detroit, we are especially proud that Michigan will add another milestone to the GoKid success story. When Michigan's schools and communities save time, save money and have access to shared transportation through GoKid, we all win and the grant enables us to kick off a statewide implementation of our award-winning solution.”

Intvo ($60,000)
Centered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Intvo develops software that detects and predicts pedestrian behavior, especially in high-risk scenarios, to ensure a safe environment for all road participants. Collaborating with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), Intvo will initially begin deploying their technology on the streets of Ann Arbor, an ideal location for deployment given its high level of foot traffic.

UMTRI’s current technology is able to detect pedestrians in the crosswalk and broadcast a personal safety message to any DSRC-equipped vehicles near the crosswalk, alerting the driver to the presence of a pedestrian. Intvo’s software goes one layer deeper, enhancing these capabilities by enabling earlier detection and prediction, and more accurate warnings reducing false warnings to drivers.

“We are thrilled and grateful to be chosen as a PlanetM Mobility Grant recipient,” said Assam Alzookery, CEO and founder of Intvo. “At Intvo, we are striving to ensure a safe road environment and ease the lives of all individuals. Our smart vision software pushes the boundaries of autonomous technology in the existing market and enhances the robustness of the autonomous vehicle’s vision. Greater distractions, especially from digital technologies, are responsible for a recent rise in pedestrian casualties. This pilot would accelerate the widespread adoption of Intvo’s technology, which will improve the safety of an increasingly distracted world.”

Aerotronic ($50,000)
Working in conjunction with DTE Energy, Aerotronic will be piloting 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. The goal is to eventually integrate the sensor package with Aerotronic’s drone for a truly autonomous operation.

"The state of Michigan has proven to be a wonderful launching pad for our product,” said Chris Chance, CEO of Aerotronic. “The PlanetM Landing Zone in downtown Detroit has provided us with multiple opportunities to connect with relevant folks to move the ball forward."

AKTV8 ($50,000)
AKTV8 specializes in control systems and components for electronically adjustable suspension to improve ride comfort, handling and safety. Alongside SAF-HOLLAND, AKTV8 will test a new generation electronic tire inflation system for Class-8 trailers in Western Michigan. The new system, called SMAR-te Tire Pilot, is a combination the SAF’s Tire Pilot Plus™ tire inflation system and AKTV8’s patented iAir™ control system. Unlike the mechanical systems today that can only increase tire pressure, the SMAR-te system will estimate the load of the trailer and electronically inflate and deflate all tires to optimize tire contact to the road. Network and Bluetooth connectivity enhance diagnostic data for fleet management while a warning light alerts the driver of tire leaks and potential overload conditions. The system is a first for the trailer industry that promises to improve tire life and fuel economy - improving vehicle uptime and heralding a new era of tire health management.

“AKTV8 is extremely excited to have been selected for the PlanetM mobility pilot,” said Josh Coombs, CTO and cofounder of AKTV8. “Electronic control of pneumatics and air suspension is a key enabler of autonomous vehicles and improved safety for commercial trucking. Tire Pilot SMAR-te is another example of AKTV8’s made-easy approach to electrifying traditional pneumatics.”

“The mobility challenges facing the industry today make it imperative that we engage the best innovative thinking, collaborations and creativity to find solutions. Our third round of grant recipients showcases our continued support of projects that have a meaningful impact in our communities, and that serve as a model for mobility startups and corporations globally,” said Roraff. “The funding provided to pilot programs and their partners for testing opportunities is a catalyst for these ideas to come to life, and the grants and public awareness help these companies connect directly with the state’s ideal ecosystem.”

Through PlanetM’s newest testing partner – the Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium (MUASC) – the mobility industry now gains access to airspace at the Smithers Winter Test Center and Proving Grounds in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, allowing testing of integrated transportation systems and unmanned aerial systems. The addition of this facility expands testing opportunities from roadways to airspace, opening the door for possibilities including the development of a new class of emerging technologies and advances.

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

About the PlanetM Mobility Grants
The PlanetM Mobility Grants 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 partners with NextEnergy to support project management services for each pilot program. NextEnergy works directly with the selected startups and corporations to establish grant agreement terms, outline each statement of work – including objectives, milestones and a timeline – and oversees the implementation of the pilot by serving as the fiduciary to disperse grant and cost-share funding.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation/PlanetM
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit . To learn more about Michigan’s leadership in the revolution in transportation, visit . Michigan has a unique and vast ecosystem that is leading the way in transforming the way people and goods are transported across all modes of transportation. 


About PlanetM

PlanetM is a partnership of mobility organizations, communities, educational institutions, research and development, and government agencies working together to develop and deploy the mobility technologies driving the future. Available to any mobility-focused company or investor, PlanetM is a no-cost, concierge service that connects startups, businesses and communities to Michigan’s mobility ecosystem — the people, places and resources dedicated to the evolution of transportation mobility. Michigan has always been the leader of the automotive industry, and as transportation technologies continue to evolve in amazing ways, Michigan is continues to lead the way. Visit to learn more.

PRESS RELEASE: Aveopt Opens Proving Grounds for R&D and Product/Technology Testing Operating Under the Authority of a FAA Designated UAS Test Site

In keeping with Aveopt’s vision, Aveopt opened its 80 acre proving grounds located in Cedar Michigan on 1 April 2018 with Atlas Space Operations signing on as its first corporate tenant with the intent of using the proving grounds for development and test efforts associated with their satellite dish and array technologies.  The grounds are adjacent to state lands serve as part of Aveopt’s product development and testing facility enabling Aveopt to create/emulate actual environments in which Aveopt’s TerraPosition Pro™ Platform can be tested including Cell Towers, Utility Poles (now being utilized for Fiber cable in rural deployments), and Power Lines which further demonstrates the flexibility and breadth of the TerraPosition™ Pro platform across multiple applications and infrastructure industries.

Aveopt’s proving grounds as a site for technology innovation and R&D, will focus on emerging and disruptive technologies specifically applicable to the infrastructure industries and broad utilization of UAS (ie: BLOS) and autonomous vehicles.  Aveopt’s proving grounds as a site for technology innovation and R&D, will focus on emerging and disruptive technologies applicable to the infrastructure industries and broad utilization of UAS (ie: BLOS) and autonomous vehicles.  Aveopt is now a member of the Michigan UAS Consortium (MUASC), and capable of conducting flight test profiles only available to ranges flying under the authority of an FAA designated UAS Test Site.  As a member of this consortium, Aveopt advantages include:

·         Access to Class D (2500’ AGL) and Class G (1200’ AGL) Blanket COAs

·         Access to Special Use Airspace and air-to-ground range for DOD for related R&D projects

·         Blanket COAs include large areas of water for marine research

·         Night and BLOS operations… test ranges

·         Handling of all required FAA documentation and reporting

·         Industry Specific Application Training including Infrastructure sites for training (Cell Tower; Utility Power Lines; Utility Poles

Aveopt has also entered into discussions with major R&D academic institutions, and Utility and Telecom companies and service companies using the proving grounds to further the understanding, development, promotion and adoption of these technologies.

Aveopt’s proving grounds can also be used as a training facility for UAV/UAS utilization in the Telecom and Utility industries including operator/pilot training associated with infrastructure sustainment.

About Aveopt:

Founded in 2016, Aveopt is a provider of advanced information acquisition and synthesis software solutions built upon Virtual Reality (VR) /Augmented Reality (AR) integrated with Sensor, Autonomous Vehicle and GIS technologies. 

Media Contact: Art Kahn, Aveopt, Inc –; 888-260-5335

Disruptive Technologies -- Redefining Reality

Disruptive Technologies = Transformations (Life + Business + Global Economy)

Consider these innovations and how profound an impact they have made: Mobile Internet, Automation of Knowledge, The Internet of Things, Advanced Robotics, The Cloud, Autonomous or Near Autonomous Vehicles, Next Generation Energy Storage, and Renewable Energy to highlight a few. 

Drones may find yet another job in the tower industry

Drones have the potential to revolutionize parts of the tower industry. AT&T has been using unmanned aerial vehicles to inspect towers for more than a year, and now the carrier wants to automate inspections by adding machine learning and video analytics to the mix. AT&T says that in the future, robotic drones may even be able to repair cell towers as needed.

A Michigan startup called Aveopt is pioneering this technology, and has already started conversations with a Tier 1 U.S. carrier. “The current methodology is such that it could take three days for a team of five to do a line of sight assessment,” said Aveopt CEO Arthur Kahn. “What they do in a day we can literally do in minutes.”

Aveopt ‘Keeps it Real’…and Real Easy…When Locating a Tower Site

When you consider the backgrounds of Aveopt’s founders, you realize that there is a natural affinity for solving problems utilizing tools beyond currently available solutions.  As men who grew up in the decade that saw a man land on the moon, Art Kahn don’t understand the phrase “can’t be done.” Same goes for ex-Marine Tim Nash and millennial Nick Clayton. “So when Aveopt seeks a solution to a problem or challenge,” COO Art Kahn said, “the process always begins with one of two phrases; ‘what if’ or ‘imagine if.’”

Ann Arbor, Michigan/Orlando, Florida: Aveopt, a software solution provider that leverages VR/AR (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality) technologies to drive efficiencies for commercial and industrial clients across several industries, is unveiling the TerraPosition Pro™ at the Wireless Infrastructure Conference in Orlando, FL on May 23rd 2017. Aveopt's "TerraPosition Pro" system was developed in response to the escalating industry wide costs associated with the growth of the Telecommunications Wireless Infrastructure needs as we move from 3G and 4G Networks to 5G Networks.  

Virtual Reality Meets Drone Technology: Software Company Partners With Samsung

Aveopt is a VR/AR (virtual reality/augmented reality) IT software solutions company whose approach is to integrate VR/AR technologies with other ‘disruptive’ technologies, such as sensor and autonomous vehicle technologies, according to Tim Nash, vice president of technology solutions.

Aveopt to be Panelists at WIA Connectivity Expo in May

Aveopt will be participating on panels at the WIA Connectivity Expo in Charlotte NC (May 2018), addressing Wireless Infrastructure and Application Technology supporting Public Safety; and New Generation Technologies serving the Wireless Infrastructure Ecosystem… The Business Perspective.  


We look forward to seeing you at the Expo.

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