Integration of Autonomous Buses in Service Lines in Israel – Call for Proposals

תאריך אחרון להגשה 


תיאור הקול הקורא

Participating Agencies

Israel Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolusion
Israeli Ministry of Transport and Road Safety
National Public Transport Authority
Ayalon Highways Ltd.


Israeli Ministry of Transport, National Public Transport Authority, Ayalon Highways Company and the Israel Innovation Authority invite corporations licensed to operate regular public transport service lines together with corporations developing autonomous vehicles, able to conduct a trial and integrate autonomous buses in the public transport service lines to submit an application to receive grants to conduct trials and demonstrations in Israel in the framework of the National Initiative for Autonomous Public Transport.
The program will be conducted continuously for two years from the date of approval, as a test-run for trial and demonstration programs. 
This CfP is submitted in the framework of the Support for Piloting in Transportation Program.

Relevant Technologies

AV Software and Hardware, AV OEM’s, AV Suppliers, Public Transport Operators, Mobility Providers, Bus/Minibus Manufacturers, Developers of AV remote operation/command and control centers for AVs.

Program Description

Following the Government Decision No. 2316 of January 22, 2017 (concerning the National Smart Transport Program), the State of Israel is interested in leading the global arena in the field of autonomous vehicles. Today Israel is already one of the leading countries in the autonomous vehicle field based on the number of companies and R&D centers in this field and the advanced pilots that are being held in Israel. Accordingly, alongside pioneering regulation to enable more advanced trials than those currently permitted today, the State is interested in actively encouraging pilots in this field, particularly by integrating the prevailing technologies in the service lines of the public transportation system in Israel.

The benefits expected from the program are directed toward contending with one of the biggest challenges the State of Israel faces – road congestion – by making the public transportation system more efficient and improving service to users. 

The purpose of the venture is to advance autonomous public transport in Israel through public transportation operators that will partner with international corporations, to contribute to the positioning of Israel as a leading technological, innovative and entrepreneurial country and additionally to bring about acceptance of these technologies by the general public in Israel.

Application to this call for proposal should be submitted by a corporation registered in Israel, the entity submitting the application. The corporation or whoever on its behalf must be licensed to operate service lines. The corporation must present regulatory, technological, operative and financial feasibility to perform the trials and to lawfully operate a service line.

Pilot Program’s process

  1. The pilot will be executed in stages and based on gradation principle as regarding the safety risks, beginning with test runs without passengers at a closed trial center and concluding with regular service lines with passengers, according to the outline detailed in the service line license, in the approvals and in the requisite regulatory permits.
  2. The pilot will be executed in stages for defined periods of time, whereby in order to progress to the next stage the corporations will be required to conduct conclusive summaries for each stage, to improve and correct issues that arose during the period of time of the earlier stage, and to comply with the entry conditions to the next stage. 
  3. The number of autonomous buses the corporation will operate will be 1-15, of an increasing number, according to the timeframe from the date of approval as detailed in the appendix to the CfP.
  4. The bidding corporations will encourage use of autonomous buses so that the average weekly passenger capacity percentage, in relation to that permitted in the permit to conduct the trial, gradually increases throughout the program period, up to a point that does not fall below the average passenger capacity percentage of a services lines operator with a human driver on a similar line during the trial / demonstration period, insofar as the technology so permits.


Preferred fields of operation:

The trials program for operating public transport service lines with autonomous buses will enable the winning corporations to use public roads subject to the law and subject to receiving the requisite approvals under the law, including but not limited to being licensed to transport passengers. The program in the long run is expected to encourage the public to use public transport, reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents, ease transport congestion, reduce the use of petroleum and air pollution from transportation, and to assist in providing a partial solution to a shortage of bus drivers.

Threshold Conditions:

What conditions must the company comply with to submit an application in the CfP?

  • The corporation must be registered in Israel.
  • The corporation must operate according to the reporting duty, the registration duty, royalties duty, preserving know-how and intellectual property duty as detailed in the Innovation Law (Hebrew)Benefit No. 2 Program and the Program Procedures
    Clarification: the proprietorship of the new know-how that is developed will belong to the entity submitting the application. Regarding “new know-how”, it is clarified that the winners’ proprietorship in the CfP of the know-how refers to know-how relating to the technological abilities of the autonomous driving system itself (as defined in the Traffic Ordinance) as opposed to information relating to the service oriented and operational aspects concerning the integration of the system in the framework of operating public transport. All the know-how relating to the service oriented and operational aspects which is a product of the initiative will be owned by the Public Transport Authority.
  • Clarification: In the case a sub-contractor (partner) will, in the future, be interested in receiving a partnership in the new know-how developed during the course of the pilot, we request that applicants notify the Authority at the time the application is submitted in order to enable this more easily further on.
  • The programs must demonstrate the pre-product abilities without significant R&D contents except adjustments to the local market’s needs. 

Criteria to evaluate an application:

  • The corporation’s abilities with regard to regulatory, technological, operative and funding preparedness to execute the trials and to operate a service line as detailed in the appendix to the CfP, including:
    • The corporation must have a license to operate regular public transport service lines itself or in an engagement with such a licensed corporation.
    • The corporation must have the ability to operate an autonomous bus at an autonomous technological level of at least 4 (pursuant to the SAE J3016 definitions), and provided that it will operate according to the autonomous vehicle definition in the Traffic Ordinance. The autonomous bus will have the ability to transport at least 8 passengers. 
    • The corporation must have the ability, or be in an engagement with a corporation that has the ability, to provide autonomous buses/ systems that conform to the standardization and import requirements, enabling the autonomous buses to transport passengers in the amount and time frame detailed in the appendix to the CfP. 
    • The corporation must conform to the regulatory aspects detailed in the appendix to the CfP.
  • The test run quality – the quality of the test run site and the synergy between the corporation and the site, the benefit the corporation will derive from the test run program as regards time to market and commercialization aspects. The degree of technological innovation and the degree of the uniqueness of the program.
  • The challenges level upon realizing the program as detailed in the route procedures.
  • The joint bidder corporations’ abilities, including their managerial abilities and their ability to complete the program and its business realization.
  • The regulatory preparedness to execute the program, including, but not limited to , the ability to stand in compliance with the regulatory conditions to execute trials on autonomous vehicles in public transport service lines in Israel.
  • The efficiency of the operational program of the service lines operator who in the future will operate these autonomous buses (for example the maximum distance the battery will last, recharging time [insofar as referring to electric vehicles], commercial speed of the autonomous bus, ability for passengers to get on and off the bus, ride conditions and payment terms, seating and standing space, parking availability and so forth). 
  • The expected impact the trial and operational program will have on efficiency and improving public transport in Israel, and in particular reducing congestion, lowering the number of accidents, reducing the use of petroleum in transportation, reducing air pollution, improving social equality, solution to manpower issues and lack of drivers, and encouraging passengers to use public transportation.
  • The technological and employment contribution of the program to the Israeli economy, which will be examined, inter alia based on integration of Israeli corporations (in the operational, technology and infrastructure fields) in the test-run program 
  • The corporation’s business-economic growth potential resulting from the program’s success.
  • Impact on creating an ecosystem that is economically profitable while guaranteeing competitiveness in the industry.
  • The completeness of the solution.
  • The accessibility compliance of the autonomous buses included in the bid for persons with mobility disabilities  in addition to the requirements required under the Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (Regulating Accessibility for Public Transportation Services). 
  • The autonomous bus’s specification compliance for use in the framework of public transport service lines in Israel in addition to that determined in the Traffic Regulations, 5721-1961 (seating, grip, ease of operation, getting on and off, accessibility, safety, payment options for fare as acceptable in Israel, convenience and passenger experience and suchlike).
  • Compliance with the issues detailed in the appendix to the CfP.


The corporations that are found to besuitable will be awarded government funding ranging between 20% – 50% of the cost of operating the pilot according to the provisions in the Innovation LawBenefit No. 2 Program and the Program Procedures

Furthermore, the winning corporations will be assisted by a steering team from the National Initiative that will operate in collaboration with the relevant agencies on the Government’s behalf to assist in removing barriers and advancing the venture.

Corporations that did not receive a grant can, subject to approval and compliance with all the conditions in this CfP, choose to participate in the venture via self-funding.

Application Process

The application will be submitted through the personal area of the Innovation Authority’s Hebrew website.
Information regarding the manner who submits the application and the forms that must be attached to it appear in detail in 
Support for Piloting in Transportation Program. Applications must be submitted up to 02/08/2022 at 12:00 noon (Israel Time).
Answers will be provided by November 2022.

For inquiries and clarification questions regarding the CfP, you may contact the initiative management team by email:

  • Last date for clarification questions is extended until June 30th, 2022.
  • Answers will be published by July 10th, 2022

Contact information:

  • For general questions and questions regarding the manner to submit the application in the personal area, you may contact the customer service division by email at: or by telephone at 03-7157900, on Sundays-Thursdays between the hours of 9:00-17:00


  • To avoid any doubt, it is clarified that in the case of a conflict or incompatibility between the version of this CfP and the provisions in the benefit and procedures route, the provisions in the benefit and procedures program will trump.
  • This publication does not constitute a commitment to give any approval to any of the applicants.


National Initiative's Appendix downloadable file