CARMAKING in Israel has amounted to some unstylish models in the latter half of the last century and a few rugged off-roaders for the country’s security forces. A reluctance to make them, however, has not stopped Israel from becoming a thriving centre for the high-tech kit with which cars now bristle, and also for services such as ride-hailing.
The latest evidence of Israel’s pre-eminence came on March 13th, when Intel, a giant American chipmaker, paid $15.3bn for Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based firm that is at the forefront of autonomous-car technology. With the acquisition, Intel joins the ranks of technology companies that are trying to outmanoeuvre carmakers and auto-parts suppliers to develop the brains of vehicles of the future.
Mobileye is an attractive target because of what it does now and what it will soon be capable of.