Last updated June 14th 2017
Israel’s unbridled success in the transportation tech industry was recently manifested when Mobileye, a developer of driverless car technologies, was acquired by giant chip maker Intel for $15.3 billion.
Now New York City taxicabs are giving Israeli tech the seal of approval, with the widespread adoption of Israeli transportation apps and solutions. The success of the carpooling “Via” cabs, which is based on the Israeli phenomenon called “Sherut”, is just one of the latest examples of the transformative transportation solutions spearheaded by the Startup Nation and picked up in NYC.
Here are some of the leading Israeli car technologies currently used by cab drivers in the Big Apple:
Founded in 1999 by Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, Mobileye’s Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) provide in-car collision and pedestrian warnings, among other features. Increasing the safety of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, Mobileye provides the building blocks for autonomous vehicles. The company is also developing fully autonomous cars with the world’s leading car manufacturers, including BMW and Volkswagen.
Currently, the company is working with roughly 113 automakers to make autonomous driving a reality by developing camera sensors, light detection systems, and mapping. Its technologies will eventually serve to replace human decision making with algorithms. To achieve this, Mobileye is using machine learning and data exposure to “teach” the technology to make decisions.
Nexar is an Israeli mobile app that uses the consumer’s smartphone camera which, when propped to the car’s dashboard, detects potential driving dangers and provides verbal warnings. It automatically saves the information to a secure cloud account, where it can be accessed for insurance claims.
Additionally, the app creates a real-time network with nearby vehicles to warn other users of road events. These could entail congestion, traffic, collision risk, pedestrian crossing, and infrastructure breakdown.
Founded in 2015 by Eran Shir and Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz, Nexar has raised $14.5 million from venture capital firms Aleph, Expansion Venture Capital, Mosaic Ventures, Slow Ventures, True Ventures, and Tusk Ventures.
An overview of Israeli technological prowess in transportation is not complete without mentioning Waze and its impact on navigation. Founded in 2007, Waze is the world’s largest community-based navigation and traffic app. It shares real-time road information, like traffic, accidents, hazards, and police, and therefore saves its users time and money. Additionally, the GPS-based program provides turn-by-turn directions using the most up-to-date maps possible.
The company, which was founded by Uri Levine, Ehud Shabtai and Amir Shinar, was acquired by Google in 2013 for $1.3 billion.
Taxicab and ride-sharing apps
Israel’s Gett was among the first in the world to offer taxi-hailing apps, along with giant Uber. Now, Israeli-founded companies Via, GetAround, Juno (which was recently bought by Gett for $200 million) and Gett are all offering one-click taxi and ride-sharing services in cities around the world.
Revolutionizing transportation as we know it, these apps eliminate your need to own a vehicle in order to move from point A to point B. With these new services, you can simply use your smartphones to hail a ride, track the driver’s location, receive pertinent information about the driver and vehicle, and be charged directly through your credit card.
Photos and video: Courtesy of the companies