Israel's Transport Ministry mulls self-driving car trials

google autonomous car

Ministry of Transport chief scientist Dr. Shay Soffer is considering field tests in Ashdod or Beersheva.

Ministry of Transport chief scientist Dr. Shay Soffer believes that automatically driven cars will appearing on roads around the world towards 2020, and are likely to account for 50% of all cars within 25 years. At the Cars 2015 conference, Soffer said that the focus of preparation at present was communications between vehicles, and that the Ministry of Transport would take part in a general European workshop on the subject. At the same time, the Ministry of Transport is expected to examine the subject by commissioning academic studies.

Soffer added that two trends in automatically driven cars are visible: the traditional one, based on vision sensors, and the innovative one, in which vehicles are owned only by service providers, not drivers. This is also the approach of Google and Apple Computers. He remarked that the possibility of a field test for such vehicles in all or part of a city in Israel was currently under consideration. The Ministry of Transport is considering areas in Ashdod or Beer Sheva for testing the performance of various types of automatically driven cars.

Autotalks cofounder and CTO Onn Haran said on the same discussion panel that a situation in which all the vehicles are connected will result in zero road accidents. He added that Singapore was one of the examples of a country with very advanced regulation in the matter, and that starting in 2018, every new vehicle on the road there would have to be equipped with a component for connectivity between vehicles.

Mobileye(NYSE: MBLY) Israel regional manager Tzahi Israel said that the key to automatically driven cars was sensors installed in vehicles, while the infrastructure for communicating with the surrounding cars would come at a later stage.

According to Israel, the car's ability to move automatically requires the collection and storing of information through camera sensors. He added that in the short term, active safety systems would be used to increase the customers' awareness of the technology's advantages. In the medium term, vehicles capable of moving independently on specific roads, such as Highway 6, would be introduced, and would then be extended to cities. He hinted that in 2016, an automatically driven test car was likely to operate on Highway 6.

MCP-Pango CEO Roy Elbaz believes that the current competition between Google, Apple Computers, and Microsoft for control of vehicle entertainment and information systems is an excellent opportunity for consumers. He said that thousands of vehicles capable of searching for parking or a route through sharing information between the vehicle's computer and a smart phone would be put on the roads in 2016.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 10, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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google autonomous car
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