SBIR Phase I: ManyWheels VehicleTransport Optimization

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0839294
Agency Tracking Number: 0839294
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: SS
Solicitation Number: NSF 08-548
Small Business Information
726 N Danville St, Arlington, VA, 22201
DUNS: 828877873
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kevin Dewalt
 (571) 366-9196
Business Contact
 Kevin Dewalt
Title: MS
Phone: (571) 366-9196
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will pursue a solution to the inefficiencies in transporting automobiles. 80 million new and used vehicles are sold annually in the US in a rich, dynamic market involving manufacturers, dealers, wholesalers, consumers, banks, rental agencies, and others. In spite of the sophistication and size of this market, the transportation of these vehicles from seller to intermediary to buyer operates inefficiently, often using technology and business processes that pre-date the Internet. Commercial automobile transporters frequently drive routes with spare capacity or empty trucks because they cannot identify and secure new business opportunities in real time. This project will improve the efficiency of transporting automobiles by developing market-mechanisms to allow shippers and transporters to discover and negotiate opportunities in real time. Creating such a market requires solving a real-time logistics problem in an enormous, highly fractured market of thousands of businesses shipping millions of pieces of cargo among 10,000 transporters which often have limited communications infrastructure beyond PDAs and cell phones. Billions of dollars are spent annually transporting automobiles; the potential for even single-digit efficiency improvements creates a compelling business opportunity. The company that can achieve such improvements may benefit from the scalability and network effects that create attractive investment opportunities for venture capitalists. The financial model also improves with rising fuel prices. Additionally, the solution will have the strategic benefit to the US of reducing our oil consumption. It will also have the social benefit of reducing the US carbon footprint.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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