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BMW

A high-ranking delegation from the BMW auto firm is currently in Israel to look at the feasibility of establishing a research and development center in the Jewish State.

The delegation is also reportedly considering investment opportunities in smart car technologies, according to a report by the Globes business news site.

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Earlier this week it was announced that Intel Corporation purchased Mobileye, an Israeli technology company that develops vision-based advanced driver assistance systems providing warnings for collision prevention and mitigation, for an estimated $15 billion. It is the largest deal in Israeli history.

CEO Ziv Aviram told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday during a phone call between the two that the center of the company’s operations would remain in Israel, that the company would build a global development center in the country, and that it would be responsible for Intel’s international activity regarding autonomous vehicles.

A number of auto firms are already involved in the “smart car revolution” in Israel, including General Motors, Volvo and Honda — all of which have research and development centers, and are actively involved in investment in the market. The latter two companies are sharing a center for searching out investment opportunities with Hertz.

SAIC of China is in the process of setting up an R & D center and searching for investment opportunities, and Renault and Nissan are also expected to enter the market shortly with a smart car innovation center in Israel as well, according to the report.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.