The USA and Israel have agreed to collaborate on a wide range of transportation-related issues in an effort to promote innovation and advance research, including the development of autonomous and connected vehicles.
US Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, and Israeli Minister of Transport and Intelligence, Yisrael Katz, have met in Washington DC to discuss technology and innovation in transportation, and to establish a formal partnership to examine autonomous vehicles.
This is the second time that Foxx and Katz have met, the first meeting took place in Jerusalem in November 2015, when the leaders discussed transportation challenges both countries were facing, innovative solutions to tackle some of those challenges, and ways that they could work together to strengthen their transportation systems. During his trip to Israel, Foxx also met with start-up business leaders, students and faculty at
Technion, and met with the leadership team at the Jerusalem-based company, Mobileye, which resulted in the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) announcing a partnership with the company to provide its Shield + driver assistance safety technology to the winner of the agency’s Smart City Challenge.
In their latest meeting, Foxx and Katz signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) outlining their commitment to work together on key issues related to the future of transportation. The discussion also focused on moving beyond traditional modes of transportation, embracing best practices in the public and private sectors, and collaborating in research, specifically:
Advising on Israeli plans to build a center for the development of autonomous vehicles in the city of Netanya, Israel; Collaborating on the safe deployment of automated and connected vehicles, including best practices around cybersecurity; Sharing successful models of Public Private Partnerships (P3).
“At the Department of Transportation, we are working relentlessly to lead the world in building a 21st century infrastructure system designed to grow the economy and give our people a better quality of life,” said Foxx. “We were thrilled to welcome Minister Katz to USDOT, and we are looking forward to collaborating with Israel to advance research, harness innovative approaches and support the future deployment of automated vehicles.”
Katz responded, “For the past hundred years, innovation within the automotive sector has created safer, cleaner, and more affordable vehicles, but progress has been incremental. The industry now appears close to substantial change, engendered by autonomous, or ‘self-driving,’ vehicle technologies. These technologies offer the possibility of significant benefits to social welfare: saving lives; reducing crashes, congestion, fuel consumption and pollution; increasing mobility for the disabled; and ultimately, benefits of this technology will likely outweigh the disadvantages. Israel is at the cutting edge of autonomous vehicle technological systems. We are very proud of the cooperation with the USA in this field and of the great potential for saving lives. The new center of excellence which we will build in Netanya will advance the research and development efforts and position the city in the select group of leading cities in this field in the world.”