05 Dec 2017

Globes: Israel’s auto-tech industry attracts NIS 65b in 2017

Israel’s auto-tech industry is buzzing as Mobileye is installed in Chinese buses, startups close large financing rounds and carmakers open offices in Israel.

One figure stands out in the Israeli auto tech sector for 2017: Israeli smart car and shared transportation companies generated NIS 65 billion in exits, investments, and capital raising. This is two and a half times the volume of exports by the defense industry, Israel’s leading industry, in 2016.

The most prominent deal, of course, was the sale of Mobileye to Intel for over $15 billion. Before that deal, only professional engineers in the auto industry knew what was being done in the Israeli auto-tech niche. After it, Israel is already appearing on the official map of hot spots of global investment leaders and senior auto industry executives.

Although we are at a time when summaries of 2017 are being issued, the truth is that it is difficult to summarize activity in this sector at the current time. First of all, it will be no surprise if several more interesting announcements are made even before the end-of-the-year business break. Secondly, this business and technology theater is constantly changing and advancing at a dizzying pace. We will therefore postpone the summaries and retrospectives, and merely provide a glance at the future.

Mobileye’s potential in China

Mobileye is no longer an independent public company, and therefore does not issue separate reports of important business events. This does not mean, however, that things have calmed down on its business front. On the contrary; one of the interesting developments is currently taking place in the Chinese bus market. Several months ago, the Chinese Ministry of Transport announced that starting next year, new buses would be required to install advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that include alerts when another vehicle is too close and when the bus is drifting out of its lane.

This market was created almost overnight under the regulator’s sponsorship, and its potential is enormous. Nearly 500,000 new buses in various categories are built each year in China. The electrical buses niche alone, in which most of the ADAS will be installed in the first stage, amounts to 115,000-130,000 units annually.

Mobileye, which has been in China for a long time, and took part in government ADAS trials, is now reaping the rewards. Senior company executives recently officially announced cooperation with Yutong Bus, in which Mobileye’s warning systems will be installed in all of the company’s new electric buses in the coming years. The Chinese press also reported similar agreements with bus manufacturers Golden Dragon and Higer. These three companies alone represent hundreds of thousands of potential installations in the coming years.

Read more here: http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israels-auto-tech-industry-raised-nis-65b-in-2017-1001213594