The promised land of smart mobility
It may be difficult to find a taxi that accepts credit cards in Tel Aviv, but it is nevertheless the land of smart mobility. Not only is it the home of many telematics companies and other companies active in smart mobility services, it is also the scene for the sixth International Smart Mobility Summit.
On a sunny square in front of the Habima national theatre, some 60-odd startups presented their disruptive technologies and innovations in the fields of smart mobility and fuel alternatives. The exhibition was realised in cooperation with EcoMotion, a community of over 600 startups and 7,000 members in the smart transportation sector.
The Smart Mobility Summit is part of the Fuel Choices Initiative, the Israeli government’s programme for advancing alternative fuels and means of transportation. It was launched in 2011 and held its first Smart Mobility Summit in 2013.
The initiative wants to guide Israel to a future in which it can reduce its oil consumption by 60% by 2025, by simplifying bureaucratic processes, funding research, conferences and exchanges and by backing experimentation and field trials.
Thoughts and ideas
Judging by the products and services the startups on the Habima square were displaying, the government’s efforts are paying off. Not surprising, knowing that Israel lacks natural resources apart from the inhabitants’ thoughts and ideas.
Each year, some of those ideas are rewarded with a $1 million prize, the Eric and Sheila Samson Prize for innovation in alternative fuels for transportation. In 2018, this prize went to Doron Aurbach, chemistry professor at Bar Ilan University and Lars Peter Lindfors, senior vice president Technology at Finland’s Neste Oil.
Professor Aurbach was recognised for his contribution to breakthroughs in the field of battery development, including an innovative magnesium battery that could be used in electric vehicle applications. Mr Lindfors and his team have developed innovative methods to produce biodiesel from organic waste, including organic oils and used cooking oils.