Startup Kinetic rolls out robots to fix electric cars

  • The startup uses a robotic system, computer vision and machine learning software to rapidly diagnose and recalibrate the sensors and software in EVs and other modern cars.
  • A collision repair business for the era of electric and autonomous vehicles, Kinetic Automation, has raised $21 million in a Series B round of venture funding.

This integrated technology solution not only improves the efficiency of reconditioning and reduces the costs associated with EV ownership and maintenance. It also ensures the reliability and safety of the customer’s vehicle system, and promotes the transformation of the entire automotive industry to digitalization and intelligence.

–Revel Cheng, BTW reporter

Startup Kinetic rolls out robots to fix electric cars, and someday robotaxis.

What happened

The startup, which employs about 40 people full-time, has developed a robotic system that uses computer vision and machine-learning software to quickly diagnose issues with a vehicle’s digital systems.

Kinetic CEO and co-founder Nikhil Naikal explained that a lot of new models, especially battery electrics, are loaded with bells and whistles such as touchscreens and robust infotainment software, along with a variety of cameras and sensors that enable everything from rapid charging to driver safety features including forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control.

Kinetic puts its robotic systems and technicians to work to help these shops and dealerships fix the finicky and expensive aspects of customers’ cars.

Here’s how it works: A customer’s car rolls up to one of Kinetic’s service bays, where it is scanned from bumper to fender with machine vision sensors, some on a robotic arm that peers over the top of the vehicle.

The scan determines which systems need to be precisely programmed or need a recalibration. Then Kinetic’s software, which is connected to the vehicle’s systems, will initiate and track the completion of those fixes.

Also read: startup raises $50M as it targets AI-assistant market

Also read: Nvidia and Salesforce boost AI startup Cohere in $450M round

Why its important

While electric vehicle demand is still increasing in the U.S., the sales growth rate for cars that pollute less has cooled down in 2024 due partly to the high cost of insurance and repairs for tech-laden new models.

A 2024 study by J.D. Power found that, despite the climate benefits, only 26% of car buyers in the U.S. were “very likely to consider purchasing” an EV in the next year, and more than 20% were “very unlikely to consider an EV purchase” at all.

The existing collision repair industry is well-equipped to handle most physical fixes, such as replacing a bumper, a busted windshield, brakes, and paint, or adjusting alignment. But for many collision repair centers and auto dealerships, ensuring all sensors, software and computers are working properly can prove time-consuming and expensive.

That’s where Santa Ana, California startup Kinetic Automation comes in. By providing diagnostics and recalibration of the high-tech systems in modern vehicles, the company hopes to decrease costs associated with EV ownership and repairs.


Revel Cheng

Revel Cheng is an intern news reporter at Blue Tech Wave specialising in Fintech and Blockchain. She graduated from Nanning Normal University. Send tips to

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