On February 21st, The Jerusalem Post reported The BMW Group plans to locate its fifth Technology Center in Tel Aviv. The renowned automaker reportedly anticipates partnering with both local innovation firms and Israeli universities in the near future. Israel’s Minister in charge of economic affairs, Eli Cohen, welcomed the German company’s decision. He noted Israel has become a center for automotive innovation and technology during recent years.
Automated Vehicles of The Future
Reportedly, during recent years, many leading automakers have joined technology firms in working to create fully automated self-driving vehicles and mass transit platforms. Although Israel has not become a center for car manufacturing, a number of companies in the Middle Eastern nation do conduct innovative automotive research and development programs. Several car makers have chosen to invest in these efforts, including Renault, Daimler, Hyundai, Porsche, Honda and others.
The Green Car Congress website has suggested the new BMW Technology Center represents an effort on BMW’s part to search for innovative technology companies and inventors in Israel. The automaker seeks to develop more high tech Internet-connected automotive technologies. The BMW Group has established similar technology centers in four other nations: the United States, South Korea, China, and Japan.
Technology Centers: A Popular R & D Concept
Technology centers currently exist within many industries. The online encyclopedia Wikipedia has characterized these efforts as ways for companies and governments to promote the development and dissemination of important technologies, and to foster vital research. Increasingly, educational institutions also participate in technology center projects.
Both Israel and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates have become regional leaders in fostering technology center development and innovation in the Middle East. The BMW Group has invested in innovative technology programs in Israel previously. In 2018, the company chose Innoviz, a high tech startup, to help manufacture components for an automotive light detection and ranging device for use in self-driving vehicles.