Cybersecurity agreement for Israeli company in Turkey

Israeli Cymotive Company, leading provider of smart mobility cyber solutions, has signed extensive cooperation agreement with the leading vehicle manufacturer in Turkey, Ford Otosan Company, a subsidiary of Ford Motors focused on manufacturing and marketing heavy-duty commercial vehicles for local and European markets. Ford Otosan is planning on using Cymotive’s solutions to prepare its vehicles for compliance with the new EU regulations concerning cybersecurity and to identify potential vulnerabilities in connected systems.

The cooperation between Cymotive and Ford Otosan was born through Ford’s innovation center in Israel, which was looking for a local cybersecurity partner to assist the Turkish manufacturer. The first phase of this cooperation will focus on certifying F-Max diesel trucks developed by Ford Otosan.

Ford Otosan is jointly owned by Ford Motors and the giant Turkish industrial conglomerate Koç Holding, and it specializes in manufacturing trucks and heavy-duty tools. It currently operates five R&D and manufacturing sites throughout Turkey, and is capable of producing 450,000 vehicles annually. The company markets trucks to the Turkish market, the Middle East countries, including Israel and many East-European countries. Last March, Ford Otosan has acquired Ford Motors’ fabrication site in Craiova, Romania, as part of its strategic plan to expand to the West-European automobile market. 

One of the barriers in entering the West-European market is complying with rigorous cybersecurity regulations. In order to achieve an EU vehicle-type certification, OEMs must comply with UNR 155 and UNR 156 regulations forms by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). These regulations draw the binding requirements regarding cybersecurity level of the connected systems and the electronic control units (ECUs) in the vehicle, and the communication channel used for remote software updates (Over The Air – OTA). These regulations are already in force within the EU and it is prohibited to market vehicles not complying with them.

Volkswagen’s Israeli cybersecurity company 

Ran Borberg, Security Risk Assessment and Architecture Group Manager, explain in a conversation with Techtime: “We bring our automotive cybersecurity know-how and experience to this cooperation, especially regarding regulations and standards. Our solutions guide the manufacturers regarding the processes they have to perform in order to comply with regulations, and how to do that wisely at the aspects of risks assessment and threats profile, and we also carry out vulnerability assessments. Trucks have features and characteristics different from passenger vehicles, which influence the preparation of the model for regulation compliance. We have tailored a unique holistic service for Ford Otosan in the form of Certification as a Service (CaaS)”.    

Cymotive was founded in 2016 as a joint venture of the German vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen and three Israeli founders, all former security system seniors: Yuval Diskin, former Director of the Israel Security Agency (ISA), CEO Tsafrir Kats, former Head of the Technology Division at the ISA and Dr. Tamir Bechor, former IT & Computing Division at the ISA. The Israeli partners hold 60% of the company’s shares, while the German company holds the other 40%.  

Cymotive’s solutions automatically map all hardware and software components in the electronic control units (ECUs), locate potential vulnerabilities and recommend the best path for risk minimization. The platforms also checks and validates the vehicle’s compliance with the regulations. The company has reported that its solutions currently monitor more than 2 million vehicles of Volkswagen’s group , including Seat, Skoda, Porsche, Lamborghini, Ducati, Audi and other brands. The company employs 200 employees, most of them in offices at Tel-Aviv and Bar-Lev Park near Karmiel. The company also holds offices in Wolfsburg, Germany (next to Volkswagen’s headquarters) and an office in Sweden. 

Electreon and Ford will deploy first wireless EV charging road in the U.S

Electreon Company won, together with Ford, the State of Michigan RFP to build a wireless Electric Road System (ERS) in Detroit. The project includes deploying a 1 mile wireless charging road and stationary wireless charging stations, in a central mobility innovation district supported by Ford Motor Co. and others. The road is planned to be operational by 2023, and it will be the first wireless EV charging road in the United States.

At the end of 2020 Ford revealed it plan of restoring Corktown district, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, including the iconic Michigan Central Station, which also be renovated. The purpose of the project is to craft an ecosystem that demonstrates the future global mobility, and allow companies and start-up all over the world to demonstrate their technologies. For this reason, Electreon estimates that the Michigan project might be major component in introducing their technology to the American market, and in generating strategic joint ventures with leading companies in the market.

In addition to Ford Motor Co., other renowned American companies are taking part, to include Jacobs Engineering, which will lead the road design and will support project management and the energy company DTE, which will provide the connection of the new road to the power grid. Other companies in this project are KIEWIT Company, one of the largest infrastructure companies in the USA, which will support infrastructure works’ planning and execution and CleanTech ROUSH Company, specialized in converting industrial vehicles to alternative fuel vehicles, and will provide an electric truck for the project. Electreon will be the provider of its wireless electronic charging technology and will lead the planning, execution and operation of the project.

Electreon Wireless developed an electric road technology that charges the batteries of electric vehicles during their drive on the electrical section. It is based on the use of magnetic coils that are placed under the traffic lanes and charge the vehicles’ chargers wirelessly, using magnetic induction. This helps to reduce the weight of the electric vehicles, since a relatively small battery is needed. The system includes a management unit located on the sides of the traffic lanes of the electric road, and a receiver unit located in the vehicle’s undercarriage.

Ford Motor Company Opened a Research Center in Tel Aviv

Ford Motor Company has today opened its Ford Research Center, Israel in the heart of Tel Aviv’s burgeoning technology community. The new center will serve as a research hub augmenting Ford’s global Research and Advanced Engineering team. It will also support Ford’s automotive and mobility businesses by identifying technologies and start-up companies in the fields of connectivity, sensors, automated-systems research, in-vehicle monitoring, and cyber security.

The Center, opened by Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company (photo above), will play a significant role as Ford pursues its vision to become the world’s most trusted company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world. The center will include a vehicle lab to support proof of concept efforts and AI work.

“We recognize the importance of being in one of the world’s leading innovation communities and ecosystems,” said Bill Ford.  “This new center is not only an expansion of our existing Research and Innovation centers but provides an opportunity to join a growing innovation community in Israel.”

The research center will operate closely with Ford’s subsidiary, SAIPS, led by Udy Danino, founder and CEO, who has also been appointed as Israel Technical Director for the new center. SAIPS is an Israeli leading computer vision and machine learning company, acquired by Ford nearly three years ago.

Ford has had a presence in Israel for nearly a decade. In 2015, Ford it was among the first major automakers to host a developer challenge in Israel. The Ford Research Center in  Tel Aviv joins Ford’s global network of research centers, including Aachen, Germany,  Nanjing, China and Dearborn, USA.