Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Local Motion Raises $6 Million and Adds Andreessen Horowitz’s Sinofsky to Board

Local Motion, a startup that helps governments and businesses digitally manage fleets of automobiles, has gotten $6 million in funding from venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, and is also adding its new board partner, former Windows head Steven Sinofsky, to its board.

The eight-person company, based in Burlingame, Calif., seeks to help digitize the largely manual utilization of vehicles. It is currently being used by Google and the Downtown Project in Las Vegas, which is managing a fleet of Teslas.

“To put it simply, the more vehicles there are, the harder it is to keep them all in use,” wrote Sinofsky in a blog post about the investment, which is his first board appointment for the firm. “That’s a lot of waste.”

Local Motion was founded by John Stanfield and Clément Gires, basing it on the concepts of the shared-car economy that has exploded of late, using available hardware and software to make the service more easily deployed and used.

As described by Sinofsky: “Open the app on your mobile device, locate a car or just go out to the designated spots and locate a car with a green light visible in the windshield — no reservations required. Walk up to the car, swipe you card key (same one you use for the office) or use your Bluetooth connected phone and the car unlocks and you’re in control. Forget to plug in your electric car and you’ll even get a text message. When you’re done, swipe your key to lock the car and let the system know the car is free.”

A small box is installed under the dashboard to run the system, which includes telemetry for the fleet manager that yields a range of data beyond just location.

“We are trying to address the issues of everything from fuel efficiency to simply knowing where available cars are,” said Giles in an interview. “We are trying to use data to leverage optimization.”

Best of all, noted Giles about one of the more easily lost items in fleet management: “People leave keys to cars that they share with others on a nail in the office, and they get lost. We remove the car key from the equation.”

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus