Israel, well-known for its technology startup environment, and innovation is trying to become a major player in the global automotive industry. They have been making steady progress over the years to moving closer to this goal, for example, just last year Israel adopted Government Resolution No. 23The6. The main objective of the 250 million-shekel (59.2 million euro) initiative is to “encourage Israeli industry, entrepreneurship, and research in the field of smart mobility and to position Israel as a global leader in the field,” according to Automotive News Europe. Israel is now proving to be a big player in the high-end automotive technology sector, with many large global brands investing in Israeli transportation technology. For example, just last year many deals and buyouts were announced involving Israeli transportation companies. Volkswagen AG had made a $300 million investment in the Israeli ride-hailing provider Gett, while Ford Motor Co. bought the computer vision and the machine-learning company SAIPS AC. BMW AG, on the other hand, invested in the Israeli-based transit app Moovit in 2015. While Intel said that it would pay roughly $14.7 billion (12.5 billion euros) for Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based autonomous vehicle technology company, in a deal that would transplant Intel’s automotive research teams located in the United States to Israel.
Of course, this recent merger and acquisition have continued well into 2018. Just last month in June, Porsche announced that it had invested an “eight-figure sum” in the Israeli venture capital funds Magma Venture and Grove Ventures. The exact figures were not shared. Both of these companies focus on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in different uses for the automotive sector. Porsche also announced in a press release that it has also built an “innovation office” located in Israel “to guarantee access to technology trends and talent”. Porsche has now joined Daimler AG and General Motors who already have research and development centers located in Israel. Porsche CFO and IT Head Lutz Meschke also stated in the release that “Israel is a key market for IT experts and engineers. It has more startups per capita than any other country in the world.” The world’s largest automotive companies are now recognizing Israel as a large player in the world’s automotive industries and have a lot to contribute. They understand that Israel’s involvement is set to get larger and larger in the years to come. Israel’s automotive technology sector has around 400 startups research shows, with the majority of these companies focused on providing solutions for autonomous and connected cars, other companies focus on securing the data entering and leaving connected vehicles.
While Israel’s involvement in the auto industry may not be as documented as much as Detroit, Japan, or Germany, Israel expertise in cyber technology and infotech is starting to make it a major player in the next stage of the global automobile industry – namely “smart” cars. Autonomous cars are starting a convergence and joining of the information technology industry with the traditional auto industry. We are also seeing regulations for automated cars being enforced, where just a few years ago they were not given any considerations. There are also breakthroughs being made in electric and alternative energy vehicles, as well as the insurance industry for vehicles, according to My Insurance Guide. While Uber has singlehandedly broken the entire world’s perception of the taxicab industry, and how to use your car in your spare time to earn an income. As the auto industry continues to change and evolve, this change will open the door for new organizations, countries, and individuals to participate and shape the future of this industry.