Porsche to Tap Into Israeli Auto Technology

TechNation | Waze to expand California car pool service; Israel ranks 13th in global digital index

A worker places the final touches on a Porsche logo.
Tobias Schwarz/REUTERS

Porsche to tap into Israeli auto technology

Porsche is following Ford, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz to Israel. The German sports car manufacturer announced on Thursday it was opening an office in Tel Aviv to gain access to technology trends and talent. Porsche said it has invested an “eight-figure sum” in Israeli venture capital funds Magma VC and Grove Ventures and planned additional investments in funds and startups. “Israel is a key market for information technology experts and engineers. It has more startups per capita than any other country in the world. This talent and technological knowhow coupled with the great expertise offered by our employees creates the ideal breeding ground for future business models,” said Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of Porsche’s executive board. He said close collaboration with Israeli experts is necessary for Porsche to quickly assess new technologies, develop good relationships and pilot appropriate solutions. (Eliran Rubin)

Waze to expand California car pool service  

Navigation app Waze will expand its car pool service throughout California next week, including Los Angeles, in its largest-scale rollout of the service owned by Alphabet’s Google. Beginning June 6, Waze Carpool app users will be able to find rides from Waze drivers already going their way, and vice versa, throughout the state, expanding a service only available now in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Carpooling takes density and doing it on a limited capacity, you can only learn so much,” Josh Fried, head of Waze Carpool, told Reuters. “We wanted to expand to a Waze hub. It’s our first attempt to see if we can go big into a region.” Riders who accompany drivers on their routes share their gasoline expense, calculated at no greater than the federal mileage rate of 54 cents per mile. Waze will take a commission “when the quality of the service is high enough to warrant this,” Fried said. (Reuters)

Israel ranks 13th in global digital index

Israel may be Startup Nation, but it ranked only 13th among 63 countries measured by the Swiss business school IMD’s first-ever Digital Competitiveness Ranking, released on Wednesday. The ranking, which is based on 50 criteria, put Israel one place behind Taiwan and one ahead of New Zealand. Singapore, Sweden and the United States were the top three countries. IMD said the new ranking provides a measure of a country’s ability to adopt and explore digital technologies that will transform government, business and society. Israel placed No. 1 worldwide for innovative capacity, research and development spending and digital skills, and No. 2 for cybersecurity and overall scientific research. In a separate ranking for overall competitiveness, Israel was at 22nd place, down one from the year before. Israel got high marks for its “strong R&D culture,” high level of education and skilled workforce but ranked poorly on its tax regime, corporate governance and government competence. (TheMarker Staff)