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Car Companies Turn To Israel To Power Their Self-Driving Technology Needs

Car Companies Turn To Israel To Power Their Self-Driving Technology Needs

When Uber, Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) and other auto manufacturers need to improve their self-driving technology needs, they all turn toward the nation of Israel.

According to Venture Beat, there have been a "flurry of moves" by car and transportation companies all looking to "claim a piece of Israel's burgeoning autonomous car technology industry."

Related Link: What's Apple CEO Tim Cook Doing In Israel?

For instance, Uber paid $680 million to acquire Israel-based Otto, a self-driving truck company. Ford announced it has acquired Israel-based SAIPS to improve its expertise in artificial intelligence and computer vision. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk secretly visited Mobileye NV (NYSE: MBLY)'s facilities in Israel in late March; however, the relationship between the two companies has since ended.

However, Mobileye has teamed up with BMW and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) to develop self-driving car technologies that will be integrated in future BMW vehicles.

Mobileye's other clients include Volkswagen and Nissan, among others.

Why Israel?

Israel, a country of just 6 million people and the size of Rhode Island, is known to be a hub for many technology players, so its only natural that the local talent is able to be at the forefront of the next generation of technology.

"Israeli companies excel in taking a multidisciplinary approach, which allows them to move very quickly regardless of industry," Emanuel Timor, managing partner at Tel Aviv based Vertex Ventures told Venture Beat. "Behind the smart car innovations in Israel are computer vision and real-time knowhow, but also 3D sensing, video and image processing — all required elements of building a smart car. Companies here have the ability to integrate everything into one solution."

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