Bingrui Yang knows a thing or two about hardware, software and how people interact with them — skills picked up during stints at Apple, Zoox and Cruise.
Now he's applying those tricks of the trade to RVs with Pebble Mobility, a California-based EV startup he founded that aims to change the way people live and work on the road (or at the campground).
"We've seen a profound shift in how people live and work," Yang said in a recent interview, adding that jobs are more flexible, prompting more to adopt the digital nomad lifestyle.
Yang said he was inspired by his own time in RVs, a product experience he hated. He launched Pebble Mobility in 2022 to bring electrification, automation and the usability of an iPhone to the RV world.
The company's first product will be a "medium-sized" towable all-electric travel trailer equipped with technology that's similar, but not exactly the same, as the advanced driver assistance systems found in today's modern vehicles.
While Yang isn't quite ready to share the dimensions, price or other details of its first product (even the main photo above just hints at the design), he did share that the company recently raised enough money to make progress on its product roadmap.
The startup raised $13.6 million from Lightspeed, Vision+ and UpHonest Capital in a seed and Series A round. Those funds will be used to finish the RV prototype, which is expected to be revealed in the fall. Yang also plans to double Pebble Mobility's workforce, which is now about 10 full-time people who hail from Apple, Cruise, Lucid Motors and Tesla.
He noted that a key member is CTO Stefan Solyom, a founding member of the Tesla Autopilot team who spent seven years at Apple and 10 years at Volvo Cars focused on safety and autonomous systems.
CTO Stefan Solyom and founder and CEO Bingrui Yang Image Credits: Pebble Mobility
Yang is tapping the expertise of his team, as well as his own experience, to change every aspect of the traditional RV and to "automate the hardest part of RVing," he said.
The RV will have a sleek, modern design, use lightweight composite materials and will come with an electric powertrain, which will improve the fuel economy or range of whatever truck or SUV is towing it. It's also equipped with solar power and will have the energy capacity to allow users to live off-grid for up to seven days, according to the company.
"If someone can use an iPhone, they'll be able to use this," commented Yang, who had a nine-year tenure at Apple leading iPhone development.