Drive Light & Sight Edition 2020: ZKW is Looking for the Best Start-Ups

The “Drive Light & Sight” start-up competition from ZKW and StartUs is launching its second round. This time, the specialist in lighting and electronic systems is looking for start-ups offering innovative solutions in the areas of sensors and auxiliary lamps. Submitted ideas will be evaluated by a professional jury and experts from ZKW. Prize money totaling 30,000 EUR and a space in the ZKW Partnership Program are up for grabs for a maximum of four of the most innovative start-ups selected by the jury. In addition, the winning concepts will be put into practice alongside innovation experts from ZKW and presented to clients like AUDI, BMW or Porsche at a road show. Applications can be submitted through May 31st, 2020. “Ongoing innovation is key to continuously developing our lighting systems. The goal of the competition is to find solutions that maximize safety for all road users in the age of autonomous driving” emphasizes Hannes Scheer, Head of Innovation at ZKW Group GmbH, alongside his innovation team.

Focus area 1: Optimizing sensors
In the “Drive Light & Sight” Challenge, ZKW is looking for technologies that optimize the use of sensors in lighting systems and make them safer. These include, for instance, systems for cleaning, coating, calibrating, and validating sensors, as well as hybrid solutions. Sensors such as cameras and LiDAR distance measuring devices are specifically required for autonomous driving, and are integrated, for instance, into front and rear lamps. One current challenge is to ensure sensor data is precise as possible in order to make autonomous driving more safe.

Focus area 2: Smart auxiliary lamps
The second field of the competition is looking for both new solutions for existing lights as well as for new lights. All new lighting systems will be essential, although these systems have not yet been taken into account in mobility concepts. In addition, new lighting systems that can be integrated, for instance, into third brake lights, turn indicators and rear lamps will be relevant. All of the solutions should help improve key success factors like safety, design, comfort or well-being.

Outstanding ideas
“We love to work with bright minds. The 2018 competition resulted in a successful partnership with Newsight Imaging, an Israeli start-up,” explains Oliver Schubert, CEO of ZKW Group GmbH. After all applications have been received, a ZKW expert team will select the best ideas and invite nominated teams to a kick-off event in the fall of 2020. During the event, start-ups will be able to present their innovations to an expert jury and discuss the relevant details of their ideas with ZKW specialists in workshops. The winners of the kick-off event can then implement their concepts in practice through close collaboration with ZKW.

Easy online application
Applications for the Drive Light & Sight Edition 2020 competition can be submitted through May 31st, 2020 at

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Mag. (FH) Sandra Simeonidis-Huber, M.E.S.


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