Ford to Open an Innovation Center in Israel
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, is set to launch the new center during his planned visit to Israel in June. The center will operate alongside Ford's local AI subsidiary SAIPS
American carmaker Ford Motor Company is launching a Tel Aviv innovation center, a person familiar with the matter told Calcalist on condition of anonymity. Bill Ford, Ford Motor’s executive chairman, is set to inaugurate the center during his planned June visit to Israel, the person said.
Last week, Calcalist reported that Ford, who is the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, will lead a delegation of Ford executives to Israel where they will scout for technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, and cybersecurity.
In response to Calcalist's request for comment, a Ford spokesperson said that the company will hold an event in Tel Aviv on June 12, and that more information will be available around that time.
Ford already operates a computer vision and machine learning innovation center in Israel through wholly-owned subsidiary SAIPS AC Ltd., acquired in 2016 as part of Ford's autonomous car push. In late 2018, Ford invested $12.5 million in SAIPS to fund a new unit that will focus on designing a decision-making system for autonomous vehicles.
Ford's new innovation center will join other local innovation centers operated by global automakers. General Motors now operates the country's largest vehicular R&D center. Established in 2008 in central Israel, the center employs several hundred people. Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW AG, Volkswagen, and German mapping company HERE Technologies also operate local innovation centers.