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@VW and Ex-Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin Launch CyMotive Joint Venture

@VW and Ex-Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin Launch CyMotive Joint Venture

Israeli Security Service Shabak, widely known by its Hebrew code letters “Shin Bet.” He was first appointed to the position by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005, and subsequently served under Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Binyamin Netanyahu, until he retired in 2011, and started a career in high-tech. CyMotive will be based in Herzliya, Israel, and in Wolfsburg, Germany. The Israeli team which will develop advanced cyber security solutions for next generation connected cars and mobile services, is said to hold a 60 percent majority stake in the joint venture, with VW holding a stake of 40 percent. “Together with Volkswagen we are building a top-notch team of cyber security experts. We are aware of the significant technological challenges that will face us in the next years in dealing with the cyber security threats facing the connected car and the development of the autonomous car.” Diskin added. The age of the connected car enables customers to use a variety of features inside modern vehicles. However, with increasing connectivity comes an increasing risk, says VW. Aspects such as intelligent and autonomous driving increase the number of interfaces in the vehicle and thus the risk of malicious attack. Through this cooperation Volkswagen is further developing its core capabilities in the field of cyber security and is combining its forces with the expertise of the cyber security specialists from Israel, it says. At the signing of the agreement, Volkmar Tanneberger, Head of Electrical and Electronic Development for the Volkswagen brand, said, “The car and the Internet are becoming increasingly integrated. To enable us to tackle the enormous challenges of the next decade, we need to expand our know-how in cyber security in order to systematically advance vehicle cyber security for our customers.” “CyMotive Technologies provides an excellent platform for doing this. It is a long-term investment in cyber security to make vehicles and their ecosystem more secure,” added Tanneberger. The German carmaker already has various other strategic partnerships with Israeli high-tech startups. In May, VW made a $300 million strategic investment in Gett (formerly GetTaxi), a global Israeli on-demand ride hailing provider. Earlier this year, VW formed a partnership with Mobileye NV (NYSE: MBLY), to launch a pioneering crowd-sourced mapping technology for self-driving or autonomous cars. File Photo (L to R): Gabi Ashkenazi, former Chief of General Staff of the IDF, with Yuval Diskin, former Director of the Israeli Security Service Shin Bet.]]>

Silicon Valley Autonomous Driving Startup Zoox Raises $200M at $1B Valuation

Silicon Valley Autonomous Driving Startup Zoox Raises $200M at $1B Valuation

The Wall street Journal reported in May. Wu is a former president of Investec Asia, a subsidiary of Investec Bank (UK) in Asia, and previously served as managing director of China Everbright Capital. One the startup’s early backers is Sydney-based Blackbird Ventures, which, among others, is itself backed by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, the Australian Financial Review said. Zoox is developing fully autonomous vehicles and the supporting ecosystem required to bring the technology to market at scale. “We believe the transition to self-driving vehicles requires a combination of elegant vision and uncompromising execution,” the company says. Sitting at the intersection of robotics, machine learning, and design, Zoox aims to provide the next generation of mobility-as-a-service in urban environments. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup was co-founded in July 2014 by CEO Tim Kentley-Klay, an Australian entrepreneur who previously ran an animation studio, and CTO Jessee Levinson, previously a member of Stanford University’s autonomous driving team. In November 2013, Zoox made a big splash at the LA auto show when it unveiled its plans to develop a fully autonomous Level 4 vehicle. The imagery was spectacular and many of the concepts were revolutionary, according to Driverless Transportation analysts. Level 4 is the highest level of the NHTSA’s autonomous driving scale, and it reportedly serves as the basis for future Zoox self-driving vehicles.

LEVEL 4 – Full Self-Driving Automation: The vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles.” –National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
[caption id="attachment_432698" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]zoox_interior_boz Zoox (“Boz”) 2013 early prototype interior design. Source: Gizmag.com[/caption] “We don’t see ourselves as an autonomous car company,” said Kentley-Klay at a private investor presentation in May. “We actually see ourselves as a robotics company, not an automotive company. And I think when you look at mobility through that lens, you start thinking differently.” In March 2016, Zoox became one of about a dozen companies to be awarded a permit to test a self-driving vehicle on the roads of California. Zoox reportedly has more than 140 people working on its secret project, many with PhDs, who are currently focused on developing the artificial intelligence needed to power autonomous vehicles. Zoox is facing massive competition from Google, Apple, Tesla, Ford, Uber and many other industry giants. In March, General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) announced the acquisition of San Francisco-based autonomous vehicle technology startup Cruise Automation, reportedly for over $1 billion. In addition, BMW (ETR: BMW) just announced it is developing fully autonomous ride-sharing vehicles to be launched in 5 years, relying on technology from Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) and Israeli pioneer Mobileye N.V. (NYSE: MBLY), a global leader in autonomous driving technologies. Mobileye in turn has previously announced multiple partnerships with VW, GM, Nissan and others. Photo: Zoox (“Boz”) Early Prototype Design. (Gizmag)]]>