On Monday May 21st, the Global Open Innovation Network hosted a TechMeeting focused on Customer Experience in Transportation. The event gathered over 60 people from the American and French Tech scene.

Both the automotive and the aerospace industry were represented on our panel with executives from Navya Group, Airbus Ventures, XD Innovation – a Dassault Systemes partner, and Global Open Innovation Network members Valeo and PSA Group.

One trend seems to deeply transform both sectors: electrification. Whereas the automotive industry has already embraced this trend and made significant progresses regarding the design, autonomy and global performance of electric cars, the aerospace industry is still at the very early stages.

Julien Etaix, Investment Partner and Portfolio Manager at Airbus Ventures, mentioned one of the technologies explored to electrify aircrafts. It consists of filling up a container with a series of egg-shaped modules, arranging themselves randomly into place and forming altogether an electrical circuit able to power the engines. The charging process can either be done the conventional way, by plugging in, or by swapping the load of batteries for fully charged ones. This technology has the advantage of overcoming the hassle of charging up batteries which is a very slow process (learn more about this technology by reading this article).

Soufiane Elaamili, Managing Director at XD Innovation and moderator of the panel, explained that a lot of improvements can be made in terms of customer experience by leveraging the data airlines have on their customers. Airlines know exactly who is on board, which seat they occupy and they could offer services such as resuming an episode on Netflix or adjusting the seat temperature to match one’s preferences.

Our panelists from the automotive industry, Darren Lamberti from Navya, Federico Pardo from Valeo and Alexis Icikovics from PSA Group agreed on electric cars being one of the major trends along with autonomous cars and connected cars. These trends are moving the industry fast. While innovation strategies would historically be set for the next 5 to 10 years, they now require to be rethought twice a year.

Today, startups and companies offering mobility as a service such as Lyft, Uber or Blablacar have a strong influence on customer experience and all these stakeholders should learn how to work together. According to Alexis Icikovics, US Advanced Design at PSA Group, the next step in terms of customer experience is to get a single point of entry for consumers across all means of transportation (car, bus, bike, scooter…)

The Global Open Innovation Network invited 6 innovative startups to present their solution around customer experience and transportation. The presenting startups were: FetchyFox, Postmii, Flixbus, PoleStar, Udelv and Gladly.

The issue of customer experience in transportation was summed up by FetchyFox, one of the startups pitching at our event: we are in the convenience era, customers want to get what they want, where they want it and when they want it.


Check our website for more information on the Global Open Innovation Network and don’t forget to register on EventBrite for our next TechMeeting on June 13th: Factory of the Future. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us: prime@prime-innovation.com