Porsche Digital GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of German car manufacturer Porsche AG, part of the Volkswagen Group, announced the expansion of its activity in Israel today. Since 2018, Porsche Digital has been active in Israel, scouting, collaborating with, and investing in Israeli startups with technologies that can contribute to the group’s digital transformation and to electronic platforms of Porsche vehicles.
The expansion of the Israeli branch focuses on cybersecurity and investment, with several experts from Porsche joining the Tel Aviv office. "We believe that Tel Aviv is an innovation center where ideas appear exactly in the fields in which we want to grow," the company’s announcement said.
The company also announced new investment by its Porsche Ventures venture capital arm in Israeli startup Valence Security. This is Porsche Ventures’ sixth investment in Israeli companies, besides the acquisition of a stake in startup company TriEye in 2019.
Porsche Digital CEO Mattias Ulbrich told "Globes" that the company was looking for technologies in Israel for integration both into its vehicles and into its enterprise systems. Porsche Digital provides technologies for the entire Volkswagen group, and Ulbrich says that there are close links on development between Porsche Digital and the Volkswagen group’s software and digital R&D division CARIAD.
Online sales and AI technologies
Besides cybersecurity, Ulbrich says that the company is showing great interest in companies developing artificial intelligence technologies both for vehicles and for company management. These technologies will have a key role in future developments at Porsche.
In addition, the company is looking for technologies to support online vehicle sales. Porsche recently started offering online ordering for its products in several overseas markets, including full specification of the various options, using advanced imaging applications. Ulbrich nevertheless believes that even in the digital age there will still be a place for physical showrooms.
On technology for autonomous driving, Ulbrich says that most Porsche drivers still prefer to drive themselves. The company is however seeking and investing in active driver assistance technologies, such as automated parking and sensors for the vehicle’s environment.
Asked about the impact of the global economic situation on the industry, Ulbrich says that there is an appreciable decline in investment in startups, among other things because of current interest rate policy. Since technological developments require large investments of capital, the situation is liable to cause liquidity bottlenecks. Porsche, however, intends to continue investing in companies in the field.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 9, 2022.
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