The new enterprise has the goal of developing cyber security systems for vehicles with an internet connection and for self-driving cars.
Both of these categories of automobiles are vulnerable to hackers in theory, but CyMotive Technologies hopes to eliminate the practical possibilities from the equation.
Interestingly, Volkswagen did not partner with another automaker when it started CyMotive Technologies. Instead, it signed a deal with Yuval Diskin and two former colleagues of his.
The name does not ring a bell, but those at Automotive News note that Mr. Diskin was the head of Shin Bet, Israel’s intelligence agency.
The other two colleagues, which will probably remain unnamed, had senior posts within the division.
The newly formed company has a split ownership, with Volkswagen owning 40%, while the Israeli intelligence boss and his partners own the rest.
At first, CyMotive Technologies will have an office in Tel Aviv, but another branch will be inaugurated in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Volkswagen did not mention how much it has invested in the newly-formed venture. However, the automaker has serious plans regarding autonomous cars, and it also wants to be the number one selling automobile brand in the world, so you would expect them to fork up a serious investment.
Mr. Diskin will be CyMotive’s Chairman, marking a clear path in his career after various consulting jobs in cybersecurity.
He retired from Shin Bet in 2011, but had worked in the private sector since then. Israel is one of the world’s leaders in cybersecurity, and the country has numerous businesses that focus on this field.
As per the cited publication, groups like IBM and Harman International Industries had bought local companies or invested in research centers based in Israel.
With the latest endeavor, Volkswagen only reaffirms its intention to bring autonomous vehicles on the road. At the same time, regular cars will also become safer from a cybersecurity standpoint.