Aurora Labs, a Tel Aviv based start up, has developed a proactive and remote system that will find and fix vehicle malfunctions without the need of intervention by an external entity, or any downtime. Of course, we’re all kind of used to the fact that cars are changing rapidly – self-driving cars entered the scene a good few years ago, but self-healing cars are definitely a newer invention. In fact, modern cars are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Apollo 11 landed on the moon with only 145,000 lines of code behind it (admittedly, this was 1969), while some computerized cars are now requiring 150 million lines of code, and self-driving cars need up to one billion lines of code. As Israel is developing self-healing cars, let’s take a peek at some of the other technological accomplishments the country has had.
Aurora Labs is the mastermind behind this project. They decided to develop self-healing cars, which have software which uses AI and machine learning to detect when there is potential for a vehicle to malfunction, and promptly fixes it. I was kind of imagining a Ratatouille situation here (with rats running all over your engine with spanners and the like), but the reality is even better.
According to Ori Lederman, co-founder and COO of Aurora Labs, “The automotive industry is facing its biggest revolution to date.” He told the Jerusalem Post, “The most critical aspect of all that sophistication and software coming into the car is whether you can trust it, even before you hand over complete autonomy to the car. It poses a lot of challenges to car-makers.”
However, this project is still very much in the early stages. Lederman proposed a couple of challenges that the technology was facing, including whether defects can be fixed without stopping the use of the vehicle, whether the self-healing software could be detected after selling the vehicle, and whether malfunctions can actually be solved safely and securely by the software. They have real cause for concern here. In 2018 alone, around 8 million cars were recalled because of software defects alone.
It’s probably safe to say that we’re still a few years away from seeing this technology in action. As Israel is developing self-healing cars, let’s take a look at some of the other innovations to come out of this tiny, but impactful, country.
We probably all know what a firewall is right? It’s the software that protects your devices and data from sketchy cyber activity. In 1993, the first commercially viable firewall was developed by Gil Shwed, Marius Nacht, and Shlomo Kramer at Check Point Software Technologies. Since then, Check Point has grown – partnering with tech giants like Nokia.
Anyone else here old enough to remember the days of floppy disks? I, unfortunately, most certainly am. Luckily, in 1999 M-Systems, an Isreali company, filed a patent for a USB-based PC flash disk (yes, it was that wordy to start off with), that opened up production of the portable USB that most of us use today.
Waze is something I use on a daily basis. When Ehud Shabati, an Israeli engineer, first tried out a GPS, he was both enthralled and disappointed. He got where he needed to go, but his path was marked by traffic and roadworks. Shabati decided to develop a community-based navigation device, that provided real-time road reports and guided its users to their destinations without a hitch. Waze was sold to Google for $1 billion in 2013, and provides services to more than 50 million users around the world.
More than just self-healing cars
Israel is developing self-healing cars, but the start-up nation in the heart of the MIddle East is driving innovation around the world. From USBs, to Firewall and Waze, the Iron Dome, and so much more, Israel is making waves in the tech industry. For a country that only achieved independence 70 years ago (give or take), Israel has had a massive impact on the course of technology. Here’s to seeing some more incredible innovation from the start-up nation in the future.