Israel is set to introduce a new, faster, and more reliable navigation system that will help it avoid accidents, improve safety, and reduce the risk of collisions, a top Israeli transport official said Wednesday.
The new system, called Audi Navigation, is designed to use the same system as the Google Car, but will include sensors, computers, and traffic signals to provide better navigation in a more realistic way, Transportation Minister Yuval Steinitz told a conference in Tel Aviv.
The carmaker has already released a version of the system in other countries.
The system is intended to be on the roads by 2020, with its first trials planned for 2019, he said.
In a separate development, the Israeli government has ordered a fleet of 4,000 new cars with new technology to replace the old ones.
The government says the new cars will be equipped with an array of cameras and sensors, including ones designed to detect when pedestrians and cyclists are in the path of cars and trucks, and that they will be able to identify and avoid pedestrians and bicycles when there is a lack of separation between pedestrians and vehicles.
The move will be hailed by many Israeli officials as a step toward better public safety and a win for the Israeli automobile industry.
But the move has sparked criticism that it will allow the car industry to remain profitable while the government cuts the number of public transport trips and services.
In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has called the system a “bait and switch” that will allow carmakers to avoid having to invest in new technology and create fewer jobs while making profits.