Porsche Invests in Israeli Self-Driving Tech Startup

German car manufacturer Porsche seems to have seen something in Israeli startup TriEye that made them want to buy into the business. As a worldwide auto manufacturer, the company is always on the lookout for technology that may trigger the ‘next big thing’ in the auto industry. Self-driving cars have taken center stage in the development of automobile technology, and Porsche may be betting on their newly acquired Israeli partner to help them get a leg up on the competition.

The technology that interested Porsche was the development of a short-wave infrared (SWIR) sensor technology. When installed in a vehicle, it provides a sensory capability for the car, allowing it to ‘see’ its surroundings. Weather conditions cause IR waves to dissipate, making the technology less useful in hazardous driving conditions. The key selling point for SWIR’s sensor technology is that it can be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of current IR sensors for vehicles.

Taking The Plunge a Bit Late

The German automaker isn’t at the cutting edge of self-driving technology. This acquisition is notoriously late compared with other car manufacturers and their advances into the realm of self-driving technology. Competitors such as Tesla have already invested large sums of money into developing self-driving technology, and service providers such as Uber are also interested in developing self-driving tech that will lower the cost of their overhead.

The Volkswagen Group owns Porsche, and VW has advanced its own plans in developing self-driving technology. Initially partnered with Aurora Innovations, the company eventually dissolved the agreement to focus on other projects it had in the same field. VW recently announced that it would give priority to Ford’s Argo AI for testing in their vehicles to provide self-driving capabilities. TriEye’s technology might make it into a modified version of the Argo AI explicitly developed for the German auto company.