LAS VEGAS—Goodyear has earmarked $100 million for investments in "future mobility solutions." During the next decade, Goodyear plans to focus on partnerships with and investments in mobility startups that share its vision for sustainable, safe and new "mobility experiences."
To this end, Goodyear has set up a venture capital fund, dubbed "Goodyear Ventures," to effect the strategy, the company disclosed this week at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Goodyear Ventures will focus on eight themes shaping mobility:
- Electric and autonomous technologies;
- Connected mobility solutions;
- Next-generation public mobility;
- Next-generation aviation mobility;
- Future transportation infrastructure;
- Future maintenance and operations;
- Emerging technologies; and
- New tire materials.
"Goodyear is a technology-driven mobility company that seeks out and partners with other mobility thought-leaders ranging from small startups to proven business models," Richard Kramer, Goodyear's chairman, CEO and president, said in a statement. "Goodyear Ventures will take this effort to the next level to engage and shape how people move in the future."
In addition to capital, the new unit's portfolio companies will have the opportunity to learn and grow with Goodyear through its technology and innovation resources, vehicle service network and global manufacturing and product development footprint.
Goodyear did not comment on the sales and/or earnings potential of the new initiative.
In 2019, Goodyear launched several programs to discover how its tire technology can be used more effectively for predictive maintenance.
Among the initiatives the Akron tire maker undertook were:
- partnering with Envoy Technologies, a California electric car-sharing service, to use Goodyear's predictive tire-servicing program to forecast and schedule fleet maintenance.
- partnering with Redspher S.A., a Luxembourg-based transport and logistics group, to equip some of its vehicles with sensor-equipped "intelligent" tires that can monitor tire wear and pressure.
- teaming with Prazo Inc., operators of Borrow, a California short-term electric car subscription company, to help maintain its fleet of vehicles.
- collaborating with Priva Mobility Inc., a provider of mobile offices, to gather tire-operating data from Priva's vehicle fleet.