U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it opened a research center in Tel Aviv, becoming one of several global automakers beefing up operations in Israel to take advantage of the country’s vibrant technology sector.
The center will support Ford’s automotive and mobility businesses by identifying technologies and start-up companies in the fields of connectivity, sensors, automated-systems research, in-vehicle monitoring and cyber security, the company said.
Ford’s announcement comes as technology and automobile companies seek access to Israeli expertise in automated driving, boosting investment in the country.
U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp, German auto supplier Continental AG, Samsung Electronics Co, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co are among companies that bought startups or set up their own development centers in Israel.
Ford said its new center will operate in close coordination with the company’s machine learning unit, SAIPS, which the U.S. carmaker acquired about three years ago.
SAIPS Chief Executive Officer Udy Danino has been appointed as Israel technical director for the new center.
Ford’s global network of research centers include Aachen in Germany, Nanjing in China and Dearborn in the United States.