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‘Startup Nation’ revs up for smart mobility play

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed his country’s resolve at the annual Smart Mobility Summit here this week.

, TNN|
Nov 02, 2019, 12.51 PM IST
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A decade on, Israel has jumped five places to the 5th spot in Bloomberg’s index of innovative countries, overtaking Singapore, Sweden, the US and Japan. China is ranked 17th and India 54th in the list of 60 nations.
Tel Aviv: Chronicling Israel’s rise as an “economic miracle”, authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer in their bestseller, Start-Up Nation, wondered whether the Jewish state will be able to maintain its mojo amid rising competition from China and India.

A decade on, Israel has jumped five places to the 5th spot in Bloomberg’s index of innovative countries, overtaking Singapore, Sweden, the US and Japan. China is ranked 17th and India 54th in the list of 60 nations. With the government creating an effective startup ecosystem, Israel is now looking for dominance in smart mobility, which integrates various modes of transportation through wireless communications and applies real-time data analytics to make commuting safer and efficient.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed his country’s resolve at the annual Smart Mobility Summit here this week. “Our vision is a world free of its dependence on fossil fuels with clean, efficient means of transportation. Our mission is to establish Israel as a centre of knowledge and industry in the field of smart mobility. The number of Israeli startups in this field has gone from 60 to 500 in the past five years.”

The PM wants the startup nation to become a “transportation solutions capital of the world”. Israel’s automotive sector has raised $4.6 billion in the last decade, with the funding flowing into various fields, ranging from ADAS autonomous cars to fleet management and from electric vehicles to navigation.

Anat Lea Bonshtien, chairman of the Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Initiative at PM’s Office, highlighted her government’s efforts to make the smart mobility revolution a reality, citing Israel’s HD Mapping data set, which has opened for public. This set of data, she said, includes an HD map of five road segments in Israel. Each road segment is a loop of 30km of highway and urban roads, with centimetre-level accuracy and a detailed description. Bonshtein said governments need access to real-time data to improve urban mobility.

(The writer was in Tel Aviv at the invitation of Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs)
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