By Jesse Lempel/TPS
Jerusalem (TPS) – Tesla CEO Elon Musk secretly visited Israel a few weeks ago to view a demonstration of futuristic Israeli innovations in self-driving car technology, according to a report in the Israeli financial magazine Globes.
Tesla Motors is partnered with the Jerusalem-based company Mobileye, which is developing technology that would allow cars to intelligently navigate the roads on their own. Some of Mobileye’s tech is already in use by Tesla.
Using Mobileye technology, Tesla’s “Autopilot” system can already change lanes on the highway and parallel park without human control. The new improvements that Mobileye reportedly showed Musk would push the car’s capabilities even further, towards maneuvering unmarked open roads and the ability to read road signs.
Spokespersons for both Tesla Motors and Mobileye declined a request by Tazpit Press Service (TPS) to comment on the reported secret meeting in Israel.
There was brief speculation in December that Tesla would end its relationship with Mobileye after an eccentric hacker claimed to have built a self-driving car in his garage. However, Tesla quickly put those rumors to bed, calling the prospect of an unsophisticated small company besting the Israeli technology “essentially impossible.”
Musk, who is worth an estimated US$13 billion, is also the founder of SpaceX, a company that manufactures spacecraft “with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets,” the company’s website states.