American carmaker Ford Motor Company opened a research center in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. Calcalist first reported
on the company’s intention to open the center in May. Bill Ford, the executive chairman of the company, who is currently on a visit
Israel was present at the opening ceremony.
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The new center will serve as a research hub in conjunction with Ford’s global research and advanced engineering team, the company said in a statement. The center will also work to identify technologies and local startup companies in the fields of connectivity, sensors, automated systems research, in-vehicle monitoring, and cybersecurity, and will include a vehicle lab to support proof of concept efforts and artificial intelligence work.
Udy Danino, founder and CEO of Ford-subsidiary SAIPS AC Ltd. will be the new center’s technical director. Acquired in 2016 as part of Ford's autonomous car push, SAIPS develops computer vision and machine learning algorithms. Late last year, Ford invested $12.5 million in SAIPS to establish a new unit that will focus on designing a decision-making system for autonomous vehicles.
The company also maintains research centers in Aachen, Germany, Nanjing, China and Dearborn, Michigan.
“We recognize the importance of being in one of the world’s leading innovation communities and ecosystems,” Ford said in a statement. “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.”