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Intel deal may fuel Israel's rise as builder of car brains

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19th-Mar-2017       Readers ( 63 )   0 Comments
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AFP, Jerusalem :
Intel's $15-billion purchase of Israeli firm Mobileye could help fuel the country's rise in the driverless car industry -- not as a builder of vehicles, but as the brains behind them.
Monday's deal, the largest ever in Israel's tech sector, could help boost trade despite the fact no commercial cars are assembled in the country.
The self-styled "startup nation" has no real tradition of auto manufacturing:
an ignoble previous stint in the 1960s and 70s produced the fibreglass Sussita car, parts of which, according to legend, were edible for camels.
But the rise of new technology including driverless cars has opened space for the tech-savvy country to excel.
In 2013, Google paid more than $1 billion (900 million euros) for Waze, an Israeli crowd-sourced app that plots the quickest journeys in real time, followed by Monday's $15 billion Mobileye deal.
The company makes advanced driver assistance and accident avoidance systems for car manufacturers, and has already collaborated with Intel and BMW on self-driving car technology.
It was founded in 1999 but Yossi Vardi-considered one of the fathers of Israel's high-tech startup scene-said the automobile industry's growth in Israel really began in 2007 when General Motors established a research and development centre.

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