Halo Automotive chief technology officer Jim Snowden, left, and CEO Tyler Phillipi. (Halo Automotive Photo)
Tyler Phillipi credits a near miss with disaster for inspiring Halo Automotive, a Portland-based startup that helps dealerships maintain relationships with their customers.
In 2007, Phillipi was driving his pickup truck on the freeway when he spotted a mattress in the middle of the road. He narrowly avoided crashing into it, and was relieved to see the small car behind him also avoid a collision.
“The moment after I experienced this my mind raced,” Phillipi said. “Do I slam on my brakes and remove the debris, even though it meant putting myself in harm’s way? I could call someone, but who, and is that safe?”
He had just spent the day waiting in line to buy the original iPhone. He was struck by the massive computing and networking potential contained within the $600 device, while his $20,000 truck offered technology that was primitive by comparison. Phillipi wished that his phone’s technology could be harnessed by cars and trucks to connect vehicles and improve communications in emergencies and other situations.
“At that moment, I came up with the idea of ‘Car-munication’ (terrible name, that’s why I left it), which included some of the features that Halo delivers today,” he said.
After building the necessary knowledge and connections, Phillipi, 34, launched Halo Automotive in 2016 and is the CEO. The startup has four employees, including chief technology officer Jim Snowden. Halo wouldn’t be able to address the near crash with the mattress — at least not yet — but Phillipi says that they are building the foundation of a service with great potential.
Halo Automotive CEO Tyler Phillipi. (Halo Automotive Photo)
“Halo helps reduce headaches for drivers and auto dealers,” Phillipi said. “The promise of the ‘connected car’ and ‘smart cities’ have been in …read more