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Imagine a day when you get into your car and it can recognize your face, detect fatigue, play your favorite music or set your ideal temperature, all at once and automatically. These smart technologies, once the stuff of science fiction films, are becoming a reality today amidst a huge change occurring in the global automotive and transportation industries.

On Monday, Foreign Trade Administration, Ministry of Economy and Industry of Israel, Trade & Investments Mission to China of Embassy of Israel, Israel Export Institute and Economic & Trade Mission to East China of Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai held the first Israel Automotive and Smart Transportation Business Seminar in Shanghai with an aim to foster potential cooperation between Chinese car manufacturing companies and Israeli automobile component companies.

Sixteen Israeli car component companies shared their advanced technologies with Chinese automotive firms. These technologies include computer vision, cyber security, advanced driver assistance systems, light detection and ranging and unmanned driving.

This week, an Israeli delegation is visiting vehicle plants across China, meeting with potential Chinese investors and presenting their advanced technologies in this exciting field. Eyal Propper, Consul General of Israel in Shanghai, said the global car industry is undergoing a big change and becoming more automated and computerized, which poses a great opportunity for the two innovative countries to work together.

"We can bring our technology and components to Chinese vehicles," Propper told the Global Times on Monday, adding that Israel's smart vehicles sector is very strong, with companies working on different technologies and fields related to the industry.

Israeli company eyeSight is currently working on embedded sensing solutions aiming at enhancing user experience in cars, which allows touch-free interactions with the surrounding devices, such as gesture recognition and finger tracking, ­according to the company.

Another company, Brightwayvision, is working on a multi-functional vision and ranging system. Using enhanced driver vision technology and enhanced computer vision technology, it provides better vision in inclement weather or poor light conditions, reducing the risk of car accidents.

Jungo Connectivity, another Israeli company, is working on an in-cabin monitoring system based on state-of-the-art deep learning, machine ­learning and computer vision algorithms, according to the company. The system provides a car with relevant information about the driver's and occupants' behavior, which can detect fatigue and other symptoms.

New-energy vehicles

Propper said that because Israel is a relatively small country, it is seeking bigger markets such as China to export their skills and technology. The automobile industry in China is indeed growing at a rapid rate.

A total of 15.3 million vehicles were sold in the first seven months in 2017, up 4.1 percent year-on-year, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed in August.

The rising number of vehicles on China's roads has also brought about concerns such as road safety, energy consumption and traffic congestion. Like some Western countries, China is now placing more emphasis on smart cars, electric cars and lightweight technologies.

In April, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly issued a medium and long-term development plan for the automotive industry, with an emphasis on the development of new-energy vehicles and intelligent connected vehicles, putting its smart car industry on the fast lane.

Some smart technologies, such as intelligent connected technology, have been applied to many cars displayed by domestic car companies at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in April.

"This is where we match and where we can work together in the future," said Propper.



Eyal Propper, Consul General of Israel in Shanghai, delivers a speech at Monday's event. Photo: Courtesy of the Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai



Chinese potential investors communicate with Israeli representatives Monday. Photo: Courtesy of the Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai



Visitors at an auto exhibition in Shanghai Photo: CFP