Israël, the new laboratory for automobile manufacturers
Like Seat (Volkswagen group), there are many car manufacturers who have arrived in Israel through capital relationships or partnerships with startups that intend to revolutionise our mobility.
“Seat has decided to take a further step here in Tel Aviv for strategic reasons, because we want to be known as a technology company that offers mobility rather than as a simple automobile manufacturer“, said Matthias Rabe, Seat’s vice-president for research and development, in a statement to the press.
So why such enthusiasm and how are how are the companies that will fall into the laps of the large manufacturers selected?
Israel’s state-of-the-art technology is the fruit of applied research in the military and security sectors. However, it is clear that there has been major investment and state support for these fields for several decades. Moreover, cyber-security is another strong line of development for Israeli high-tech and many IT companies also have their head offices or research centres there.
All the big names of the automotive sector are present, including General Motors, Renault-Nissan, Tesla, Toyota, Fiat, BMW and Mercedes Benz, among others. Among the examples of innovative companies that attract the geniuses of coding from around the world, we can mention Mobileye, which has become the world leader for anti-collision systems, and Autotalks, which develops electronic chips that allow a high level of vehicle connectivity, thus enabling them to communicate their positions.
Many applications are on board our vehicles
Amnon Shashua, the CEO of Mobileye, which was acquired by Intel in 2017, announced at the CES18 in Las Vegas that his company had sold over 8 million EyeQ chips (the company’s star product). From the protection of cyclists to collision avoidance for buses or heavy-goods vehicles, there are numerous applications and all the major players have equipped their vehicles with them (or will install them on their next mass-produced models). But the best is still to come with the new star:
“the EyeQ4H, [which entered] into production in March 2018, provides 2.5 TOPS (thousands of billions of operations per second) of performance for a power of 6 Watts.”
In addition to these advances in performance, other lines of development are open to the startup, such as a new program intended to crowdsource the HD mapping of routes for autonomous driving. Nearly 2 million cars will be equipped with the REM (Road Experience Management) in 2019, which will be manufactured by BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen. Amnon Shashua added that “all Japanese motorways are currently being mapped, and other partnerships in this field will begin in 2019”.
Hyundai invests in microprocessors
For its part, Autotalks has announced that Hyundai will invest massively in its technology for the development of microprocessors (based on the ARM Cortex A7) dedicated to V2V and V2X both for cars and motorcycles. The objective is more long-term since level-4 self-driving vehicles will only appear around 2021. Direct communication between vehicles will enable us to avoid certain errors of analysis of data provided by other systems in difficult conditions (e.g. very unfavourable weather). Volvo, whose stated mission is above all personal safety, has already decided to work with Autotalks and its V2X technology.
We see that research centres gather in dynamic countries and by speciality. The self-driving vehicle markets provides an enormous field for experimentation; with perhaps a nod to French competitiveness clusters?
To read aslo :Progress and challenges of the autonomous vehicle