Numerous startups in the automobile industry showcased their greatest technological innovations in the field of transport to attract the interest of potential collaborators and buyers from the worldwide automobile industry in a major event themed on advances in automated and electric mobility in the coastal business center of Tel Aviv in the second week of June 2019.
Organized by EcoMotion, a collaboration between Alternative Fuels and Smart Transportation Administration, the Israeli Innovation Institute, and the Ministry of Economy, the 7th Edition of the Annual Smart Transportation Event, attracted the attention of more than a thousand major executives and vehicle industry leaders in the field of transport.
Event Facilitated by Prime Minister
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated ‘Israel has finally got an automotive industry. We tried, when I was a young officer, we had cars, Israeli-made, fiberglass cars, and that’s just changing transportation.’
The Prime Minister also held a meeting with William Clay Ford, Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman, who was an honored guest at the event. Other major participants in the Smart Transportation Event include Harman, Volkswagen, Lear, Magna, Aptiv, Daimler, SNCF, Bosch, and Deloitte, among others. The event displayed numerous new technological developments based on the theme of smart transportation, from an exhibition of more than a hundred international and Israeli startups.
Automotive Manufacturers Set Up Research Centers
In addition, automotive major Ford also inaugurated its Israel based center for research, which will primarily work on identifying technology partners for the development of auto functions such as cyber-security, connectivity, in-vehicle monitoring, and sensors. During the inauguration, the chief of Ford stated ‘We recognize the importance of being in one of the world’s leading innovation communities and ecosystems’.
On a similar note Nissan is also collaborating with Renault in the development of an innovation laboratory, situated in Tel Aviv, which will focus on similar objectives as the Ford center and that of other international automobile manufacturers.
These new labs will also work in collaboration with the Israel Innovation Authority, which commonly works as a sponsor to a large number of state of the art laboratories around the country.
Major Players Hunt for New Technology
Nissan Motor Company, Mitsubishi Motors and Groupe Renault together represent the world’s biggest collaboration in the field of automobile development. The group also has strategic partnerships with other groups including Dongfeng from China and Daimler from Germany.
Takao Asami, the Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor Company, stated their objective of searching for and identifying new technologies: ‘”We are looking for new technologies that we don’t have, and Israel is one of the most advanced countries in cybersecurity, IT and sensing technologies. That is why we are here.’
He also stated that the expectation was about the technologies pushed by the Israeli government to open up new avenues about how drivers and passengers use vehicles, how automobile based businesses are conducted, and the way automotive infrastructure is designed. He also believes, that the adoption of autonomous vehicles can even take decades, owing to large scope of improvements, before being road worthy including objectives such as zero fatalities and zero accidents.
The Smart Mobility Event also displayed a prototype flying car developed by the NFT Company, with vertical take-off and landing functionalities, in addition to flying like a plane while driving like a car.
At the event Ford expressed his admiration about the start up sector of Israel, and the flexible work culture of the country which enables even low level workers to push their ideas to the top, easily. This results in frequent and unique ideas that have a positive influence on the industry, and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.