Automobile manufacturing giant Ford has announced its buyout of Israeli computer vision and machine learning company, SAIPS. The acquisition comes in the wake of the giant car-maker’s pledge to develop driverless cars by 2021.

In a press statement, Ford said it is “investing in or collaborating with four startups to enhance its autonomous vehicle development, doubling its Silicon Valley team and more than doubling its Palo Alto campus.”

The acquisition of the Rehovot-based SAIPS is reportedly in the tens of millions of dollars though no financial details of the buyout were disclosed.

“The next decade will be defined by automation of the automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles as having as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We’re dedicated to putting on the road an autonomous vehicle that can improve safety and solve social and environmental challenges for millions of people – not just those who can afford luxury vehicles.”

“SAIPS core expertise is design, development and implementation of algorithmic engines that are based on Deep Neural Networks (‘Deep Learning’). SAIPS portfolio consists of several algorithmic suites that provide state of the art solutions for the hottest computer vision challenges in the areas of detection, tracking, image enhancement, registration, segmentation, pattern recognition, positioning, 3D, prediction, video intelligence and more,” reads the Israeli company’s website.

In other words, SAIPS’s capabilities can help with on-board analysis of data captured by sensors on Ford’s self-driving cars.

SAIPS was founded in 2013 by CEO Udy Danino, CTO Rotem Littman and US Branch Manager Noga Zieber Bullkich. The startup will continue operating as an independent entity under the Ford umbrella, according to reports.

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