Ford Motor Company executive chairman Bill Ford Jr. is heading to Israel to scout for new technologies that the automaker can use for some of its high-tech programs. The automaker is investing heavily in artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, and cybersecurity. Ford has been looking for partners in the field of autonomous autos. Rumors have claimed that VW and Ford might team up with a significant VW investment into Ford’s autonomous driving subsidiary Argo AI.
A person who claims to know Bill Ford Jr.’s plans in Israel told Calcalist that the great-grandson of the automaker’s founder, Henry Ford, would be meeting with representatives from a company called Karamba Security Ltd. and automotive chipmaker Mobileye. Karamba Security Ltd. is a cybersecurity company with technology for the autonomous vehicle segment. Mobileye calls itself “The Most Trusted Name In Collision Avoidance.”
Mobileye has tech available now that uses sensors and can help drivers avoid collisions. The tech can identify vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, lane markings, and speed limit signs. The system warns the driver with visual and audible alerts if it detects a potential collision. Mobileye is owned by Intel, the chipmaker most known for computer processors.
Ford has an Israeli subsidiary called SAIPS AC Ltd and invested $12.5 million in the company last year to set up a new unit that will design a decision-making system for autonomous vehicles. Reports have claimed that Ford and automaker VW are close to a deal on autonomous autos, but nothing has been announced at this time. Bill Ford Jr. has stated that there will be no cross-company ownership with Ford and VW if a deal is made. Previous reports claimed that VW had agreed to invest $1.7 billion into Argo AI, but later reports said no agreement on a dollar amount had been made.