The Volkswagen Group is tightening its cooperation with the Israeli auto-tech industry. In the last two weeks, two divisions of the group officially announced that they intend to implement Mobileye’s advanced autonomous system – DRIVE – in the model line. The development includes a comprehensive array of sensors and is intended to allow extended trips without driver intervention.
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The spokesperson of the company’s commercial division confirmed that the Mobileye system will be integrated into the company’s new electric commercial vehicle, known as ID.BUZZ, and will allow it to reach autonomy level 4, meaning driving without driver intervention under specified conditions and routes.
Mobileye’s advanced autonomous system – DRIVE in a Volkswagen vehicle / photo: Yeh’ach
Also, this week the truck company MAN, controlled by Volkswagen, announced that it intends to adopt the Mobileye system for its new electric city bus. This is as part of an advanced experimental project that the company is conducting and which will begin in Munich by 2025.
These two announcements come following another publication that the company released this month in which it was stated that a collaboration would begin with Porsche, which also has close ties with Audi and other divisions in the group. As part of it, Porsche will implement Mobileye’s new safety system in its new serial models, still without full autonomous capabilities.
At the same time as the publications, the German press reports that the acceleration of the relationship between Mobileye and the Volkswagen Group comes against the background of the upheaval that the software development division of the Volkswagen Group, CARIAD, is currently undergoing. The division, which is supposed to concentrate the development of the software and the smart systems for the future models of all the group’s brands, suffered losses of billions of euros last year and ran into many development problems, which are currently delaying the launch of models. Today, the division is undergoing management changes and according to estimates in Germany, the cooperation with Mobileye is intended to help CARIAD accelerate the development processes in the field of autonomous driving.
At the same time, the auto-tech company INNOVIZ, which develops laser sensors (LIDAR) to support autonomous driving systems, also announced this week that “a leading customer of the company, one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, intends to expand its use of the company’s LiDAR – InnovizTwo – to an existing program of light commercial vehicle”. The company did not say who the manufacturer is, but as far as is known, it is referring to Volkswagen’s autonomous commercial project, the ID BUZZ. Because in the past, Inviz has already announced that it won a strategic contract to supply the sensor produced by it to private models of Volkswagen and Audi.
The industry estimates that Inviz’s laser sensor will probably be integrated into Mobileye’s autonomous “kit”, which may indicate close technological cooperation between the companies and perhaps even business cooperation in the future. It should be noted that Mobileye has been developing its own advanced laser sensor based on Intel technology in recent years. However, according to estimates, it is still far from the stage of mass commercialization and it may also be significantly more expensive than the products already on the market, including Inviz’s product.
The Ministry of Energy is examining an application that will unite the electric charging companies without me
The Ministry of Energy is looking into allowing easy “ROAMING” of electric vehicle owners between public charging stations of different charging providers throughout the country. In order to promote the project, the Ministry of Energy is encouraging the creation of a “global charging application”, which will be recognized by all companies, based on a principle similar to the “universal gas station” that allows owners of gasoline vehicles to refuel at different companies.
This ability should be possible to be integrated in the future within the application for locating the location of charging stations, which the office began to develop last year in cooperation with the CELLO company of CELLOPARK and was launched in September of last year in its beta version.
The new development should address the current situation. As of today, about ten large suppliers of public charging stations operate in Israel. Each of the companies has a separate and independent application and different smart keys (chips), which are required to be identified in order to operate their positions and to clear the payment.
As a result, electric vehicle drivers are forced to carry a large number of chips in their pockets on the road or load a large number of charging apps on their phones, resulting in confusion and awkwardness in operation.
Delek Automobile will start importing Chinese electric vehicles from a joint venture between Ford and JMC without me
Barat Delek Automotive is expected to start importing electric vehicles made in China within about a year and a half. The models will be produced in a joint project between Ford and the Chinese JMC, and will be exported by Ford to Europe and Israel. So far, the companies have produced several commercial models alongside a recreational vehicle with gasoline and diesel engines, which will be exported to countries in the Middle East, Asia and South America.
However, last week an agreement was signed between the two companies for a significant expansion of exports, which will also include exports to countries with western standards and will focus on future and advanced electric models, which are currently under development. According to estimates, in China vehicles with European standards may enter the market as early as the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025 and will include, among other things, an electric crossover.
In China it is estimated that JMC vehicles will be marketed in the West under the Ford brand or alternatively an independent brand. It should be noted that JMC has a similar export arrangement with Renault, its second production partner in China. As part of the arrangement with Renault, an electric sedan made in China, marketed by the Carso Group under the brand name EVASY, even arrived in Israel this year. Delek Car is one of the last major car import groups in Israel, which does not yet represent an independent Chinese brand and does not compete in the popular electric vehicle segment, although it markets luxury electric BMW models.
Importing a Chinese electric vehicle from a joint venture between Ford and JMC / Photo: Yeh’ach
Coming to market: the new generation of the luxurious crossover plug-in DS7
The Lubinski company began marketing in Israel the renewed generation of the DS7 premium crossover vehicle, which has undergone comprehensive design changes, especially in the front, which include a new grill, computerized LED lighting, new bumpers and more. The passenger compartment has also been upgraded and is now equipped with a new multimedia system, a built-in navigation system and remote control of various vehicle functions via an app.
All versions are equipped with plug-in drive. The new one has a 1.6 liter turbo gasoline engine, two engines and a power of 360 hp. The electric range of the model is 58 km. Along with an upgraded braking system and other improvements, the price is about NIS 430,000. The basic version is equipped with a 1.6 engine and a single electric motor with a power of 225 hp and an electric range of up to 66 km and a price of NIS 340 thousand, while the intermediate version is equipped with a 1.6 engine, two electric motors with a power of 300 hp and a price of NIS 395 thousand.
Cross-over DS7 / Photo: Yeh’ach