image Photo: Flash90

Israel holds Smart Mobility Summit

More than 5,000 participants from 60 countries will participate in the 2-day event, held under the auspices of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

By Erin Viner

The main event of the Prime Minister’s Smart Mobility Summit 2021 was launched in Tel Aviv today, in a hybrid format featuring the simultaneous holding of an actual conference in addition to a virtual platform.

Hyundai, CEVT, VW, Honda, Taiwan and VDA are among dozens of others to send delegations from abroad to attend the forum, as well as a group of senior government officials from the United States.

This is the 8th time the summit is being held, following cancellation last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of “the hottest issues in the automotive and smart transportation worlds” will be highlighted, according to a press release TV7 obtained from the summit’s organizers, including the electrification of vehicles, artificial intelligence and big data and its impact on the world of transportation and the transition to transportation as a service.

At least 70 start-ups will exhibit their activities in the field of smart transportation. Online participants are able to view the technologies and also interact with the exhibitors.

Among the companies offering demonstrations are the Hailo developer of artificial intelligence processors for end devices; Innoviz, which develops laser sensors (LiDAR) to allow vehicles to “see” surroundings and identify obstacles; the vehicle sharing company GoTo Global; the HopOn  payment and travel planning firm; the first imaging radar company to be issued on NASDAQ, Arbe; the NoTraffic management platform developer that digitizes urban intersections and serves over one million vehicles in the US; and Foretellix, which develops authentication and safety testing solutions for autonomous vehicles and ADAS systems.

Presentation of other technological systems includes the provision real-time accident prevention warnings by RiderDome, helmet installations by Anachoic to give voice alerts concerning threats in a 360°radius and up to 100 meter away, and the safe and cost-effective process of loading cargo onto ships in ports and rivers by DockTech.

Particularly interesting aspects of this year’s is a unique workshop by the National Center for the Advancement of Research emphasizing the connection of Israeli academia and industry in the field of smart mobility on the subject of sensing for autonomous vehicles; a session involving the participation of  senior representatives from AIRBUS and EHANG dedicated to the National Drone Initiative; and a roundtable discussion on autonomous vehicle regulation with senior regulators and industry representatives from around the world, including the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore.

Speakers featured at the global event include Israeli cabinet members Minister of Transportation and Road Safety Merav Michaeli, Minister of Energy Karine Elharrar and Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Orit Farkash Hacohen.

“Israel is a pioneer and an international leader in entrepreneurship and smart transportation, with hundreds of companies and development hubs. Still, in order to make technology the norm, we must actively work to assimilate the capabilities here in Israel, and not just export them,” Minister Michaeli said ahead of the summit’s opening. “I am happy to absorb the Smart Mobility Initiative and to combine the efforts in this area into a single strategy,” she said, explaining that The Ministry of Transportarion and Road Safety is working to step up already existing collaborations with Israeli hi-tech companies. She also revealed that the Knesset plans to enact new legislation to permit experimentation of driver-less autonomous vehicles and promote innovative pilot projects ranging from advanced materials to traffic management systems.

“Technology is not a goal, but a means of promoting more collaborative, more electric, less polluting, more connected and safer transportation – which reduces gaps and creates opportunities for all,” said Minister Michaeli, expressing confidence that future partnerships between the public and private sectors will “realize an advanced and innovative transportation vision in Israel.”

Other leaders in the automotive and smart transportation worlds who will address participants include Yandex CEO and owner Arkady Volozh, Mobileye President and CEO Prof. Amnon Shashua, Volkswagen’s Head of Autonomous Driving and Board of Management member Christian Senger, German Association of the Automotive Industry President Hildegard Müller, Google Vice President and Head of Artificial Intelligence Yossi Matias and senior BMW executive in the field of autonomous travel Simon Furst and former US Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Procari.

The event is led by the Smart Mobility Initiative at the Israelis Prime Minister’s Office, in collaboration with Keren Hayesod and the Ministries of Science, Economy and Industry, and Foreign Affairs.

“The Covid crisis that has disrupted the world over the last two years has also proved that the field of smart mobility is not a vision for the future, but a field that is emerging and leaping forward due to the required changes. As those responsible for encouraging and promoting the field of smart mobility in Israel, we are proud to host the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport and Road Safety, the Minister of Energy and the Minister of Science and Technology, as well as senior officials in the automotive and smart transportation world,” said Smart Mobility Initiative Deputy Managing Director Daniella Gera Margaliot.

“We are prouder than ever of the blue and white industry, which this year too has produced outstanding achievements, in overseas share issues, significant collaborations with giant conglomerates and in deepening the activity in this field that strengthens Israel’s unique position at the forefront of global industry,” she added.