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Ford has opened its Ford Research Center, Israel in the heart of Tel Aviv’s burgeoning technology community.

The new centre will serve as a research hub augmenting Ford’s global Research and Advanced Engineering team. It will also support Ford’s automotive and mobility businesses by identifying technologies and start-up companies in the fields of connectivity, sensors, automated-systems research, in-vehicle monitoring, and cyber security.

The facility, opened by executive chairman Bill Ford, will play a significant role as Ford pursues its vision to become the world’s most trusted company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world. The centre will include a vehicle lab to support proof of concept efforts and AI work conducted by the SAIPS team.

“We recognise the importance of being in one of the world’s leading innovation communities and ecosystems,” said Bill Ford. “This new centre is not only an expansion of our existing Research and Innovation centres but provides an opportunity to join a growing innovation community in Israel.”

Ford Research Center, Israel will operate closely with Ford’s subsidiary, SAIPS, led by Udy Danino, founder and CEO, who has also been appointed as Israel Technical Director for the new center. SAIPS is Israel’s leading computer vision and machine learning company, which Ford acquired over nearly three years ago.

“Expanding Ford’s presence in Israel with the new Research Center will allow us to engage with the best technology and leading companies a lot faster, and further support Ford’s goals of bringing together our vehicle and technology expertise to create new solutions to meet the mobility challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Udy Danino.

Ford has had a presence in Israel for nearly a decade working with local tech scouts to identify innovative emerging technologies. In 2015, Ford was among the first major automakers to host a developer challenge in Israel, returning last year to Tel Aviv with its fourth annual MakeItDriveable start-up event, which originated in Israel and spread to other tech hotspots like Berlin, Dublin and Paris over recent years.

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