Israeli Technologies Driving the Charge Towards a Future of Autonomous Vehicles
While Israel may not have their own vehicle brands or manufacturing facilities, this has not kept them from taking the lead in the automotive technologies of the future.
Though they may not have any homegrown vehicle production, they have made themselves invaluable to the perceived technological wave of the future: autonomous or self-driving cars. Most manufacturers and futurists envision a future where cars drive themselves and do not require any inputs or supervision from human occupants.
Long known for their entrepreneurial spirit, the Israeli startup community has tackled this problem head-on and, internationally, major car manufacturers see just how lucrative and important acquiring this type of talented innovation could be. These new automotive tech startups have made it their mission to help solve the problems that might stand in the way of a future of cars that drive themselves.
Governments around the world are putting together guidelines that will help to ensure the efficient functioning and safety of autonomous vehicles. In fact, the United States Department of Transportation recently released a 15-point set of guidelines for the safety and oversight of autonomous cars. There are expectations that we could begin to see the first large-scale commercial production of these vehicles by as early as 2020. This timetable does put a bit of a rush and urgency on securing technologies that will make this future a reality.
Recently, huge automotive companies like Ford, and technology companies like Samsung, have been buying out small tech startups that specialize in the development of software and other technologies that help further the future of the self-driving vehicle. Recently, Samsung purchased four burgeoning Israeli startups working in this field for a whopping $8 billion. This was an historic purchase for the company and a big boon to Israeli entrepreneurs.
What Makes Israel Such a Hot Market for These Types of Startups?
Innovation has always been something that Israel has excelled at. They have very little trouble securing the best and brightest of their country's talented work force. Many people wonder why this is not something that is seen in other parts of the world to the same degree. It is, in large part, due to the mandatory military service that all citizens must participate in.
In the Israeli military, particularly the more elite and specialized branches, soldiers have access to top-notch science-based education and training opportunities. Many of the soldiers in these elite branches have access to the highest quality education and training in the fields of technology, science, engineering, and math. It is knowledge of these very subjects that is required, in great amounts, to lead the technological innovations the future seems to hold.
This training gives the nation of Israel a wealth of talented and capable people with the skills to dramatically alter the future of technology and business. It also gives the international community a good place to look for talent. What these multinational companies are doing just makes sense – they are taking advantage of a ready-made workforce of talented and highly educated individuals looking to break into the marketplace.
There are startups that are focusing on any number of different issues that are facing a self-driven future. One of the biggest areas of research is in the development and advancement in remote driving technologies.
Israeli startups are also on the cutting edge of cybersecurity which is a real concern when it comes to cars that drive themselves. They are working to make the systems adaptive, safe, and secure. There will need to be means to counter potential hackers that may seek to disrupt the driving of the vehicle, or even disable some integral features like brakes, as well as any general system glitches.
While 2020 does not seem that far off (and it isn't), there is still a lot of advancement that needs to be made in order for this future to come to pass. Security and safety are the biggest concerns at the moment and Israeli startups are leading the way towards solving these issues. Already, a number of related Israeli startups have been purchased for big money by major movers and shakers in the industry.
Mandatory military training starts the young adults of Israel off with high quality training in the fields that are vital not only for the innovation of military weaponry and strategy, but to other technologies as well. These soldiers leave active service with the skills needed to lead the cutting edge of future tech, and this is exactly what we are seeing. The future for Israeli startups is bright indeed.