Hot 25 Travel Startups for 2024: Autoura

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Autoura

Headquarters: United Kingdom

CEO: Alex Bainbridge

Website: Autoura

Founding date: 2018

 

Autoura is a digital experience platform for real world experiences. We operate, using artificial intelligence, location-based tourism, leisure and hospitality experiences. For example, in San Francisco we enable hospitality experiences using Waymo and Cruise autonomous vehicles. Elsewhere, we operate immersive experiences using our AI tour guide Sahra and other AI characters.

PhocusWire coverage

As robotaxis start offering airport transfers, will OTAs be left behind?

Autonomous vehicles break into tours and attractions

Video: Autoura on an autonomous vehicle

Founder and CEO Alex Bainbridge

Founder and CEO Alex Bainbridge

Strategic goals for 2023

We have proved the tech works with early partners, but we now need to accelerate partner and consumer traction. This means working with local tour operators (with hybrid human tour guide/AI tour guide experiences), hotels (with our hospitality experiences) or online travel agencies (who can use AI tour guides as a new approach to retail attraction tickets). 2024 has to be a growth year.  

Lessons learned since founding

Oh so many! I first presented about how to use AI to operate tourism experiences using autonomous vehicles at WTM 2017, and then ITB 2018. The key lesson I have learned so far is the importance of building the base first and innovating on the go to market later. We put four years of work in on how to operate experiences using autonomous vehicles, and this has meant that fixing the customer facing layer to use generative AI was a manageable task. We have also stayed incredibly small until the timing is right – the important lesson here is knowing what wave you are surfing. I thought we were going to surf the autonomous vehicle wave but turns out the AI tour guide wave might be the larger one.

Hot 25 Travel Startups for 2024

See the full list of companies poised to make a mark on the industry in 2024.

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