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Israel Is Becoming the New Global Auto Tech Giant

By Charles Omedo , Mar 16, 2017 07:25 AM EDT
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Machine learning and other emerging technologies are fast making Israel the go-to hub for auto design and production nowadays, and this is not without the input of Intel and Mobileye among others. Intel recently acquired Mobileye for $15 billion, and this acquisition has opened the road for over 100 local companies to foray into the automotive industry in Israel. This is making the Mediterranean nation to be on the path to emerging as the new global auto tech giant.

Based in Jerusalem, Mobileye produces camera systems which are chip-based and which enables third-parties to monitor cars and driving activities. Despite its acquisition by Intel, Mobileye will still operate from Israel with over 600 workers. This is changing the game for auto players since they now start to see Israel as a country with the human and technological resources to sustain or expand their businesses in the Mediterranean.

Israeli Startups Assuming Global Relevance In The Auto-Tech Space

Before this time, the automotive industry in Israel was moribund and almost none existent. This is however changing, since over 100 local Israeli firms are now developing technologies for autonomous cars and forming alliances with global auto companies, just like Algeria is doing at the moment. The incidental thing is that Israel startups are not really designing or producing cars, only technologies used by cars, and global automakers are finding their ways to them for a partnership that would bode well for the country, the Australian Business Review writes.

For instance, several Israeli startups now go into artificial intelligence, cyber security, fast-charging batteries, and other cutting-edge technologies that are aimed at disrupting the automotive industry. To this extent, Eran Shir, CEO of Israeli firm Nexar, noted that "data is now the new oil" for the country. Nexar actually produces an app that uses smartphone cameras and sensors to create a network of smartphones in cars to warn drivers of dangers ahead.

Global Automakers Partner With Israeli Startups

A lot of money is pouring into Israel at the moment to develop into technological space. This actually began last year and the tempo is fast rising. The recent acquisition of Mobileye by Intel is opening more doors for global automakers to partner with Israeli startups for good business. This can be reeled off on one's finger.

Honda, Volvo and Israeli rental company Hertz partnered with Drive for smart mobility innovations. In 2015, Volkswagen bought Israeli taxi app Gett, formerly known as GetTaxi, for $300 million. Last year August, Ford Motors bought Saips, an Israeli company, for several millions of dollars. Also last year, Harman, an American car infotainment company bought Israeli firm TowerSec for $70 million. There are tens of other Israeli tech startups within the automotive industry which are fast gaining global relevance; some of these are NGG, Arilou Technologies, CyMotiv, Innoviz, Oryx Vision, Nexar, and Otonomo among others, Haaretz reports.

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