Elon Musk’s Israel Visit Could Result in New Self-Driving Car Tech for Tesla
Elon Musk is in Israel, and what he’s doing there is now the subject of speculation.
The serial entrepreneur and billionaire has visited artificial intelligence company Cortica in Tel Aviv, the Globes news site and Reuters are reporting. While it’s unclear exactly what Musk discussed with Cortica, the Globes is reporting that the discussions could result in Tesla acquiring the startup. Musk could also be negotiating a strategic investment in the company.
Cortica was founded in 2007 with a focus on artificial intelligence in the transportation industry. The company’s technology is designed to be baked into self-driving car systems to identify when objects, people, or anything else is moving around the vehicle. It then takes that information and sends signals to the system to avoid the moving object.
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Tesla and Musk have been among the most bullish on developing self-driving car technology. In fact, an Autopilot function is already available in Teslas, allowing drivers to let the car take over under certain, controlled situations. Still, Autopilot is a semi-autonomous system and not a full self-driving option.
For his part, Musk has remained silent on what he might be doing on the business front in Israel. And while it’s possible he might be considering a Cortica investment or acquisition, no deal has been announced. In a statement to Fortune, a Tesla spokesman said that there isn’t any truth to the report that Tesla and Cortica are holding discussions about a possible acquisition or partnership.
On his Twitter, Musk has instead shared pictures of his time in Israel.
Update 03/20/18 at 1:01 p.m. ET to include Tesla’s statement to Fortune.