Ford opens Tel Aviv research center

Ford Focus

Ford chairman Bill Ford is in Israel to open the research hub, which will focus on connectivity, sensors, automated-systems, in-vehicle monitoring, and cybersecurity.

Ford Motor Company has today opened its Ford Research Center in Tel Aviv's Adgar 360 building near the Ayalon highway's La Guardia Interchange. The center was opened by Ford chairman Bill Ford, the great grandson of Henry Ford, who is in Israel and addressed the annual EcoMotion mobility conference in Tel Aviv earlier this week.

The new center will serve as a research hub augmenting Ford’s global Research and Advanced Engineering team. It will also support Ford’s automotive and mobility businesses by identifying technologies and start-up companies in the fields of connectivity, sensors, automated-systems research, in-vehicle monitoring, and cyber security.

Ford says that the new research center will play a significant role as the carmaker pursues its vision to become, "the world’s most trusted company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world." The center will include a vehicle lab to support proof of concept efforts and AI work conducted by the SAIPS team. Ford acquired computer vision and machine learning company SAIPS in 2016 for several tens of millions of dollars and invested a further $12.5 million in it in 2018.

Ford has also been working with local companies and partners in Israel’s tech community for many years. Through this strong presence, Ford has been able to work with the best technology talent and specialized companies helping to push its research and engineering efforts forward.

“We recognize the importance of being in one of the world’s leading innovation communities and ecosystems,” said Bill Ford. “This new center is not only an expansion of our existing Research and Innovation centers but provides an opportunity to join a growing innovation community in Israel.”

Ford Research Center, Israel will operate closely with Ford’s subsidiary, SAIPS, led by Udy Danino, founder and CEO, who has also been appointed as Israel Technical Director for the new center.

“Expanding Ford’s presence in Israel with the new Research Center will allow us to engage with the best technology and leading companies a lot faster, and further support Ford’s goals of bringing together our vehicle and technology expertise to create new solutions to meet the mobility challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Danino.

Ford has had a presence in Israel for nearly a decade working with local tech scouts to identify innovative emerging technologies. In 2015, Ford was among the first major automakers to host a developer challenge in Israel, returning last year to Tel Aviv with its fourth annual MakeItDriveable start-up event, which originated in Israel and spread to other tech hotspots like Berlin, Dublin and Paris over recent years.

Ford’s global network of research centers also includes Aachen, Germany, Nanjing, China and Dearborn, US.

Ford is just the latest of many vehicle manufacturers to open a Tel Aviv development center. Others include General Motors, Daimler, Volkswagen, Skoda, BMW, and rnault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 12, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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