2020 ALL STAR | EMERGING BUSINESS MODEL
At first glance, it would be easy to assume Maryland startup Steer Tech sells a self-parking feature that can be retrofitted onto most cars made in the 2012 model year and beyond.
Not quite, says Steer Tech CEO Anuja Sonalker, 41. “What we are selling is convenience, and convenience is a narcotic.”
Whether motorists don’t want to be bothered with the clutter in their garages or with parking in remote lots at airports, they find value in the company’s self-parking feature.
Sonalker’s company has been among the first to put a self-parking feature in the hands of consumers. A partnership with garage-door opener brand LiftMaster helps take such retrievals to advanced levels. At the same time, Steer is under contract with Visteon to integrate its self-parking feature into its DriveCore autonomous driving platform.
With paths into millions of vehicles already on the road and into future cars, Steer has a substantial addressable market. By focusing on the wide number of potential customers and a small slice of the overall autonomous vehicle challenge, the company finds itself well positioned as COVID-19 alters the marketplace.