Audi mulls setting up Israel R&D center

Audi Photo: Reuters

The center, which will focus on advanced driver-assistance systems, is likely to acquire Israeli companies.

Audi, part of the Volkswagen group, is considering the establishment of an active research and development center in Israel to develop advanced driver-assistance systems technologies, sources inform "Globes." The activity will be conducted through the Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) company, founded last year by the Volkswagen group as an expertise center for the entire group and to develop hardware and software for fully autonomous driving, starting in 2021.

The company is currently building a fleet of vehicles in Europe equipped with software it developed in various areas, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, environmental perception, forecasting, and mapping. AID cooperates with startups, and as far as is known has a budget for mergers and acquisitions.

Israeli venture capital industry sources said that establishing the first core of the Israeli center, if it is built, will probably be through acquisition of an existing company in the sector. The Volkswagen group is one of the most active in the auto-tech sector in Israel. Four of the group's companies - Skoda, SEAT, Volkswagen, and Porsche - already have direct activity in Israel, which consists mostly of finding potential investments and cooperation with local startups. Volkswagen also recently announced a joint venture with Mobileye and the importer of Volkswagen cars to Israel for testing and setting up an autonomous taxi service in Israel.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 7, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Audi Photo: Reuters
Audi Photo: Reuters
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