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European self-driving firm enters partnership with Israeli security firm for autonomous vehicles

A European self-driving company has entered into a partnership agreement with an Israeli security firm in a bid to accelerate their attempts to develop autonomous vehicles. Vedocom Tech and Israel's Karamba Security announced their collaboration by releasing a joint-statement. Both organizations expressed its confidence in the new partnership, which they hope can propel them into developing autonomous cars that will be deployed across major European cities in the next year.

A spokesman for Vedecom Tech said that 'completely autonomous' vehicles will be launched for commercial use in late 2017, or early next year. In addition to this, he disclosed that the commercial deployment will be by municipalities in France, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Holland.

It is believed that Israeli company Karamba's main focus will be on protecting the self-driving cars from potential cyber-attacks on external communications between vehicles, surrounding infrastructure and internal electronics in the car. The statement said the collaboration will represent the production of the automotive industry's first-ever 'cyberattack-secured' vehicle. It read, "This marks the industry's first production of cyberattack-secured, commercially-available automobiles."

The European self-driving company is a subsidiary of Vedecom Public Foundation, whose members include car manufacturing giants such as Renault, Peugeot and Valeo. The executive chairman of Karamba, David Barzilai, claimed that the first vehicles will be deployed in the French city of Versailles. The vehicles will be short-haul cars targeting tourists.

According to analysts fully self-driving vehicles are not expected to be widely available until 2021, but carmakers are already offering a variety of semi-autonomous driver assistance systems, such as Elon Musk's Tesla organization. Last week, Volvo Group announced that from 2019 onwards, all new models and vehicles produced by the car manufacturing colossus will be either electric or fully autonomous. Volvo is the first of the traditional car manufacturers to publicly state it would stop producing vehicles being powered by self-combustion engines.