Israeli startup Tactile Mobility, which develops technologies enabling smart vehicles a comprehensive feel of the road, announced a commercial partnership with leading German automotive giant BMW Group. The commercial collab will see the Israeli startup’s software tech embedded on a global scale in BMW’s Next-Gen fleet of vehicles, starting in 2021.

"We are thrilled to partner with the BMW Group to equip their smart and future automated vehicles with the sense of 'touch' and show the commercial viability of tactile sensing technology," said Boaz Mizrachi, Tactile Mobility's Co-founder and CTO.

The eventual tech-based commercial nuptials between the BMW Group and Tactile Mobility started way back when the startup was part of the BMW Startup Garage. Similar to Mobileye’s game-changing automotive technology, the adoption of Tactile Mobility’s tech in one of the leading vehicle innovator and manufacturer's Next-Gen automobiles, in some ways, marks the beginning of a new era, giving the machine more control of the vehicle over the human behind the wheel. This, in turn, is preparing us for the oncoming autonomous reality, banging on the doorstep. This is the spark that one day will let us completely let go of the wheel and let the vehicle do what it’s made to do, drive.

Tactile Mobility develops data and virtual sensing technologies, providing the vehicle with an expanded feel of the conditions and hazards down the road, while enhancing driving performance in a safe manner. This will give BMW vehicles the ability to read whats going on under the tires and translate that data into valuable driving performance insight.

Tactile Mobility provides a software suite that utilizes vehicles' built-in, non-visual sensors to collect and analyze data about vehicle/road dynamics, enabling smart and connected vehicles to analyze the road surfaces below their tires as well as modeling vehicle systems performance and road conditions. In-vehicle, real-time data includes attributes such as available grip level, which signifies the specific vehicle/road traction limits. The integration of Tactile Mobility's software into BMW's software stack is an acknowledgment of tactile sensing and data's great promise for the automotive industry.

"We are appreciative of the support the BMW Startup Garage and the entire team at the BMW Group has given us and look forward to working together to provide smart and connected vehicles with a more comprehensive picture of the driving environments around them, which will now include the tactile sense," said Rani Plaut, Executive board member of Tactile Mobility. "Our dedicated team has been working towards this type of commercial integration for years, and we're excited to see the results implemented in the BMW Group's fleet of vehicles."

Tactile Mobility was founded in 2012 by CTO Boaz Mizrachi, Yossi Shiri, and Alex Ackerman. Currently, headquartered in Haifa, Israel, the company also has offices in the U.S., Asia, and Europe, as part of its pre-existing global operations with leading OEMs and municipalities.