In this dynamic economic climate, there’s no telling where the next hub for technology, for entertainment, or for automobiles will emerge. As of now, believe it or not, it seems like the next hotspot for the automobile industry is to be Tel Aviv in Israel. Already playing a prominent role in the technological industry as a whole, the Middle Eastern metropolis is beginning to exert some serious influence in the car industry.
In fact, most Japanese, American, and European car manufacturers are opening numerous research and development centers in the city. As a result, these automobile capitalists are finding out that Israel is not just great for facilitating the development of automobile technology. Actually, according to none other than Nick Sugimoto (the senior program director of the Honda Silicon Valley Lab), he has been checking out “a lot of interesting tech in a wide variety of areas: battery technology, materials technology, connected vehicles, and more. Israel is very good at all of these and more.”
Yet, Honda is merely the latest to articulate the friendly capitalist atmosphere of Tel Aviv. Ever since more cars have begun boasting internet connections through Bluetooth or USB connections, there’s been a substantial rise in demand for apps to keep drivers connected without sacrificing safety. Safety is the key word here.
Scott Lyons, the top executive for Ford, was cited saying “safety is a priority, both in terms of driving and from a cybersecurity point of view.” Naturally, this makes sense and as wireless technology becomes more and more prevalent in our everyday lives, I can only imagine safety will increase. Ford actually claims that Tel Aviv’s affinity for cybersecurity (unsurprising considering its seemingly perpetual volatile political climate) makes the area particularly suited for amplifying and advancing digital safety technology. The pool of talent is nearly unprecedented in this sphere of industry, and it shows.
However, Ford is hardly the first major player to make this connection. In reality, Toyota and Hyundai have also begun planting their seeds in the burgeoning area. Yet, they were more so attracted by the development of two local traffic apps that now boast world renown, Waze and Mobileye.
For those unaware, Waze is an incredibly well-known traffic-navigation and mapping app that lets drivers scout the roads for accidents, police presence, and more. Mobileeye, on the other hand, inform drivers if they are too close to the vehicle in front of them. If these apps are any indication of the future, Israel and Tel Aviv are bound to make a lasting impression on the auto industry.
It is always intriguing to see where the next big idea is coming from, be that the Middle East, East Asia, or right here at home in the United States of America. Personally, I am excited to see what the future holds and hope to see Israel continue to expound upon its already impressive success.