Spanish car manufacturer SEAT is working through the Xplora project in Tel Aviv, Israel, for the latest technical innovations. Tel Aviv is home to 6,600 startup firms, 800 of which are dedicated to the automotive industry.
In two years SEAT has worked with more than 200 Israeli businesses through Xplora with the intention of carrying out at least 10 proofs of concept every year to test how the innovations would adapt in vehicles and services.
SEAT’s innovation team is looking for solutions that enhance well-being and safety, cybersecurity, sustainability and artificial intelligence. Stefan Ilijevic, head of product innovation at SEAT, said, “If we want to shape the future, we have to be in the most innovative ecosystems.”
SEAT is working with Eyesight Technologies to adapt driving monitoring systems for its cars, analyzing driver actions and warning them about distraction and drowsiness.
Tal Krzypow, vice president of product at computer vision and AI solution developer Eyesight Technologies, said, “There will be even further benefits when our system combines with others that, for example, are able to detect pedestrians. The software can analyze whether the driver sees them and sends a warning if this is not the case.”
Active glazing technology developed by Tel Aviv-based material science and nanotechnology company Gauzy, allows users to darken or lighten glass through films that react to an electric impulse.
Adrian Lofer, a co-founder and CTO of Gauzy, said, “We are the only material science company working with both SPD (suspended particle device) and liquid-crystal based nanotechnology. Both technologies allow glass to shift to shaded or opaque for a custom user experience, and instantly back to transparent for driving.”
Being in the right place is important, as Ilijevic commented: “If you want to be a leader of the disruption in the car industry instead of a spectator, then not only do you have to be in Tel Aviv, but in the world’s other major technology hubs as well.”