I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Natalia Burgett, Chief Strategy Officer at Platform Science, a company that has been making big waves in transportation technology. The timing couldn't have been better, as they had just announced an impressive $125 million funding round.

As I spoke with Natalia, I was struck by Platform Science's truly revolutionary vision of creating an open ecosystem to solve long standing inefficiencies that have plagued the transportation industry. For too long, fleets have been limited by proprietary software bundled directly with vehicle hardware, stifling flexibility and innovation.

"We created a future-proof place where people can swap technology in and out, change what they want to use, and have flexibility to evolve," Natalia explained. "We encourage development, choice, and innovation because it's ultimately the right thing for the customer."

A key enabler of this open ecosystem is Platform Science's partnerships with major OEMs like Daimler, Paccar, and Navistar. Thanks to these collaborations, fleets can remotely access their "Virtual Vehicle" software layer using just the vehicle's VIN - no need for cumbersome aftermarket hardware installations.

Enhancing the driver experience is also a major priority. Natalia described how their intelligent workflow seamlessly integrates third-party apps from their marketplace. "The driver logs in once, and our workflow connects navigation, drive cams, bypassing apps, and more. We take things off drivers' phones and onto company-managed tablets for safer, more efficient operations."

What struck me as particularly empowering for fleets is their ability to fully control and customize the driver experience. Fleets can remotely provision specific app access based on driver experience levels or operational needs across their entire fleet or for smaller groups. This level of control was unheard of before.

But Platform Science isn't just transforming fleet operations - they're fostering an engine of entrepreneurship and innovation across transportation. Natalia shared that "We're seeing a lot of investment and innovation, with hundreds of companies in our pipeline wanting to leverage our platform." Their open marketplace creates immense opportunities for startups and niche solution providers to drive value without wrestling with the transportation ecosystem's fragmented landscape.

Fleets themselves can even deploy custom in-house software alongside third-party solutions, overcoming the constraints of closed proprietary systems. It's an open environment tailored for transportation's future.

As our conversation wrapped up, I couldn't help but feel excited about the tangible impacts Platform Science aims to have across transportation and adjacent sectors. "Looking ahead, we want to expand into other segments and vehicle classes beyond our current general freight, tanker, and long-haul focus," stated Natalia. "Our flexibility allows us to enable the best solutions for each fleet's unique needs and fuel innovation across the entire mobility ecosystem."

With $125 million in new funding and major industry leaders backing their vision, Platform Science is undoubtedly well-positioned to drive this transformation. I left energized about the smarter, more connected future they are building for transportation and mobility. The entire industry stands to benefit from their relentless pursuit of openness and innovation.