Attitudes of investors to Israel’s auto-tech industry can be divided into two eras – before Intel’s $15.3 billion (£12.52 billion) acquisition of driverless car systems developer Mobileye (NYSE: MBLY), and after. Long before Mobileye’s exit, Israeli auto-tech companies were on the radar of global investors. Scouts seeking technologies in this sector have been here for nearly four years.
Their search became more intensive after Mobileye’s IPO on Wall Street and Google’s $1 billion (£0.82 billion) acquisition of traffic navigation app Waze, as well as the rapid penetration of Gett (formerly GetTaxi) and its rivals into the world taxi market.
Automakers sought, and still seek, “practical” technologies in Israel and components to install in their future vehicles to obtain a competitive advantage as soon as possible in the smart car era. Some of them, for example, General Motors have opened large and fully operational R&D centres here while others have made do with representative offices.